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- Why Multicultural Counseling is Essential to the Success of Today’s Therapist
- Learning Objectives
It is possible that the various types of gender role conflict manifest themselves differently in different cultures. For instance, in cultures where affectionate behavior between men is common, this type of gender role conflict may be less applicable. Alternatively, some types of gender role conflict may be more salient in other parts of the world than they are in the United States.
The original SCWM Liu, , was developed as a theoretical framework that shifts the psychological discourse around social class away from the stratification and sociological paradigms which have permeated much of the theoretical and empirical literature. The SCWM provides a theoretical model, a heuristic that integrates both social class and classism and allows psychologists a means to explore the subjective social class experiences of individuals.
Worldview is used as the psychological construct from which social class is understood by the individual. The SCWM is meant as a way to model, frame, and understand social class behaviors, attitudes, and cognitions, and comprises multiple components, so consequently, there is no one measure that adequately assesses the entire model. The first assumption of the SCWM is that people are motivated to maintain a sense of normality within their perceived social class group. Disequilibrium occurs when new demands and expectations are exacted on the individual, and the person must configure behaviors, resources, and attitudes to reestablish their homeostasis.
Feminist Multicultural Psychology: Evolution, Change, and Challenge - Oxford Handbooks
For instance, disequilibrium may occur when new materialistic demands are placed on a person such as a new car or a larger home. If the individual believes these new materialistic expectations are a part of being normal in the social class group, then the individual will act in ways to obtain the new object s.
A second assumption of the SCWM is that people live within different Economic Cultures ECs or neighborhoods or communities within which the individual seeks social class position and status.
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There are not necessarily any real geographic or material boundaries demarcating these ECs, but certainly for some individuals an EC may be a certain neighborhood or community with familial roots, economic markers e. These different ECs vary with regard to expectations and demands on a person. In one EC, physical attributes may be highly valued, and individuals in that EC may feel pressure to develop and maintain physical attributes and features. Thus, an EC is important because it shapes the expectations and demands an individual experiences with regard to accumulating and using certain kinds of capital or resources.
Within the SCWM, there are three types of capital to accumulate: cultural capital aesthetics important in the EC , social capital important relationships , and human capital important physical or intellectual skills.
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The second component is the worldview, or the lens through which the individual attempts to understand these different capital demands and how these resources are to be used. Another group which provides socialization messages is the group to which the individual aspires e.
These aspects of the worldview are not all equally salient but vary depending on the EC. Depending on the EC of the individual, one of these dimensions will be prominent and be the likely way through which the world is experienced and perceived. For instance, an individual may live in an EC where social network capital is highly valued, and one way the individual believes and is reinforced in believing that these interpersonal relationships are developed is through material possessions.
The final component is classism. Classism, therefore, is both employed by the individual to gain resources, and experienced by the individual when interacting with people from perceived different social class groups. And while the effects of downward classism and inequality are pernicious, upward and lateral classisms help to reinforce and feed the interpersonal prejudices and biases which solidify discrimination against those who are poor.
One form of classism that Liu proposes is internalized classism. Internalized classism is not just the introjections of negative stereotypes about being poor. Internalized classism is not classism to be used against others, as lateral or downward classism are. This redefinition of internalized classism represents a slight revision to the SCWM and posits that internalized classism is always activated as a result of experiences with upward, downward, or lateral classism and not just activated when the individual is unable to meet the expectations of the economic culture.
For instance, Liu posits that internalized classism is regularly triggered when new products e. As people within the economic culture purchase the product, lateral classism may be exerted and experienced by the individual i. Internalized classism is always enacted internally i. At issue, and most important, is whether the individual possesses the capacity to meet these new demands.
If the opportunity and capacity exists, then the individual may obtain the possession and maintain homeostasis. If the individual is unable, then the person is in a state of disequilibrium and must find some means to reinstate equilibrium e. For instance, as Liu speculated in his discussion of social class and men, internalized classism may be a factor related to the despair, depression, and anxiety men experience when they lose their job. Liu also speculates that internalized classism is possibly one aspect related to adjustment disorders for first-generation college students.
As these men and women enter college and universities and begin interacting with students across the social class spectrum, they may start to experience internalized classism related to new social norms and values. Especially pertinent for first-generation college students from working-class or lower-class backgrounds are distinct pressures toward obtaining new material goods and products.
Certainly some material purchases are practical i. Unfortunately, focusing on material objects to cope with interpersonal issues and conflicts is ineffective and may only further exacerbate the interpersonal problems by adding on financial burdens. An eighteen-year-old White male comes to the college counseling center complaining of depression. He is a first-year student and has not declared a major.
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He wears expensive new dress shoes, pressed slacks, and an oxford shirt and blazer. He is neat and seems well mannered. As a way to understand this client, the clinician uses the three-step exploration around social class to gather more information. To understand his economic culture, the clinician asks about the economic cultural environment with which he most identifies. He stated that he sees himself as part of the university and identifies highly with being a college student. For him, the most important aspect of a college experience was developing a friendship network social capital that he believed would lead to job connections in his future.
In exploring his social class worldview, he described the salience of social class behaviors, property relationships, and lifestyle. He believed that, when he gets his job after college, he would make enough money to pay everything off quickly. The group that communicated the most salient social class messages for him was his peer group, and hence, he tended to listen and incorporate much of what they told him and how he was to be.
As the exploration turned to his family i. Information that came forward was that he was the first in his family to go to college, and that his family lives on a farm in a far off county.
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Because of his reluctance to discuss his background, the clinician gained some insight into potential sources of his internalized classism and what could be contributing to his current depressed mood. In a discussion about classism in his life, the most palpable pressure he felt was to be like his peer group i. His perceptions of lateral classism were so profound that he never talked about his family at all, to anyone, and recently started to invent stories about his family to make them appear more favorable to his friends. Consequently, his friends started to notice his inconsistencies about his family and who he was, and started to distance themselves from him.
Hence, as his peer group started to dissipate, he felt his ability to maintain his capital accumulation being threatened, and not having any other skills, other than being classist, to regain his friends, his internalized classism became increasingly apparent. In this case, several unique issues arise that need to be explored with the client. First, the client is a first-generation college student and has shifted economic cultures.
Switching economic cultures assumes that the client experienced some changes between growing up on a farm and coming to a university. Second, his worldview is oriented around social class demonstrations of who he believes he is and how he wants to be perceived by others. Interestingly though, as counseling progressed, he spoke very fondly of his family, and his inability to talk about his family in an open and honest manner created conflicts for him. Any questions revolving around his family background evoked a similar heightened anxiety response.
As counseling progressed, the counselor attempted to normalize the pressures and conflict the client was experiencing. The counselor also worked with the client to understand better how his social class worldview operated and how classism functioned in his life. Eventually, through the course of short-term counseling, the client developed a different extended friendship network outside his current group that reflected more of his evolving value system.
He also focused on choosing a major and discovered other avenues to success that were possible beside social networks. As his friendship network changed, so did his social class worldview, and as a result, his anxiety and depression lessened. In order to begin a critique and reconceptualization of diversity and multiculturalism, we revisit the operational definition of these two terms.
With both definitions, there are some overlaps of concepts, since each is related to each other in strategic ways. However, we will provide, what we think are appropriate distinctions between the two constructs. First, as noted earlier, diversity is best defined as numbers and representation. Metaphorically, the diversity is reflected in the tiles of the mosaic or ingredients in salads, stews, and stir-fries.