Reconceptualizing Culture in Social Work Practice and Education: A Dialectic and Uniqueness Awareness Approachedit
This article examines the definitions and implementations of the concepts of culture and cultural competence in social work education and practice. We take a look at the history and evolution of diversity and cultural competence in the social work curriculum. This article also identifies four theories and models of cultural competence taught in social work education, and the strengths and limitations of each theory and model are discussed. A new approach to cultural competence, the Dialectic and Uniqueness Awareness Approach, considers the triadic relationship between the social worker, the client, and the interaction of both with a multiplicity of systems and experiences. Finally, the five main principles of this approach are discussed using a case example.