Chapter

Understanding Culture

Mo Yee Lee and Amy Zaharlick

in Culturally Competent Research

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199846597
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199315918 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199846597.003.0002
Understanding Culture

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In chapter 2 the terms “culture” and “cultural knowledge” are examined. The term “culture” has been defined in hundreds of ways and each definition has implications for conducting cultural research. Having an appropriate definition is critical because it will allow social work researchers to ask the most appropriate questions, design the most successful research study, select the most relevant data and research techniques, perform the most penetrating analyses and interpretations, and prepare the most relevant findings for various audiences—that is, to conduct culturally competent research. An historical overview provides a context for understanding the connections and influences the various concepts of culture have had on research. An appropriate definition for culturally competent social work research, is provided, pointing out its essential characteristics. In addition, some conceptual tools for guiding cultural research are discussed. The chapter concludes with a brief presentation of the methodological framework used in the design of culturally competent social work research described in subsequent chapters.

Keywords: culture; cultural knowledge; conceptual tools; social work research; culturally competent research

Chapter.  8062 words. 

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