Ethnocentric Monoculturalism Oppressing to People of Color, Gays, Lesbians, and Women
Based on various observations and studies our society has come to be known as a tyrant society where by the society is determined by the people who compose or make up the society. The cultural and social environment of a given society can prevent the community members from making the best out of their lives due to various repressive factors practices by others. This shows that the society can limit the freedom and the individual rights of others. Healthcare professionals and therapists can play the role of oppressing others ether with their full awareness or without. A social assumptions, values, practices and believes in the healthcare sectors have influenced the practices in which a particular group of people in the society are served (Sue, 2001). The American psychology has been criticized as one which is ethnocentric, monoculturalism and one which is biased against the ethnic/racial minorities, lesbians and gays, women and other cultural groups of diverse backgrounds. (Stone 2005).
Great harm to the minority people in the community has been noted as multicultural specialties, attempts to help other and the education system as well. This means that instead of healing, offering care and allowing people to attain their opportunities and equal access to medical services both the current and historical practices have restricted other individuals. The minorities and culturally different people are damaged and oppressed by the stereotypes present in the society (Leahey, 2003, p 235).
Justify the central tenets of Ethnocentric Monoculturalism
Medical health professionals and social works have to be well aware of the high and increasing diversities in the societies because with time they will have to encounter new clients of different ethical and cultural backgrounds, people of different sexual orientation, people of different classes and races. These changes show that problems may arise on how health care professionals and care givers interact with other new people of different backgrounds than what they have been used to. Some observers have however denied the fact that this could not pose problems provided the health workers and social workers keep to the notion of universal psychology among people in the population. The reality on the ground is that only few service providers have kept this notion in mind but the very practices and policies of the psychology of the whole system of heath delivery greatly reflect an ethnocentric orientation (Leahey, 2003, p 345).
The consequences of this ethnocentric orientation results to conflict based on cultural antagonistic and inappropriate values and lifestyle of people in a culturally diverse setting in the community. Healthcare professionals and therapists have indeed asserted that psychotherapy and counseling may be on the status quo, society’s values transmitters and on oppression instruments (Sue, 1990). This clearly shows that the dysfunctional aspects of ethnocentric monoculturalism in a society which is highly pluralistic in nature like here in the United States. Ethnocentric monoculturalism is a powerful force in influencing, forming and determining the processes and goals of the social system in service delivery.
Understanding group-specific worldviews in developing cultural competence
It is very important for services providers and therapists to deconstruct and unmask the biases, values and assumptions which are within the scope of monoculturalism because ethnocentric monoculturalism involves cultural encapsulation and cultural oppression( Sue, 2001 , pp 50. ). Also the health care givers and service providers should also be aware that the ethnocentric monoculturalism also affects aspects such as heterosexism, ageism, gender and sexism among other oppressive forms. Racism and race for example leads to an insidious and damaging process because one may believe that the historical cultural heritage of his own group makes him to be superior to others. The cultural heritage is aspects like traditions, language, values, history and crafts and arts among others. The values and norms are depicted as the positive and the standard of measure which is commonly referred by descriptors to the more civilized and advanced ways of life. These people in the community may have unconscious or conscious feelings that they are superior and their way of doing things are the standard and best ways.
The white Euro-American culture in our today’s society is seen as the normative and desirable culture. Other aspects are the physical attributes such as blond hair, light skin and blue eyes as religious believes like monotheism in Christianity, individualism, Standard English as the language characteristics and many others are the valued aspects of the Euro- American culture. The people of this group are seen as superior and treated favorably. They have easier access to the social rewards and privileges in the general society (Guthrie, 2004, p 45)
The social heritage has the other side of the coin in which there is the belief of the inferior group and it culture. This comprises of all the aspects which make up an inferior culture such as the language, costumes, customs, traditions and values. The society which considers itself to be superior see such a culture as uncivilized, less privilege, under developed and even primitive and sometimes pathological. The way of doing things in this culture as well as the lifestyle of the people is seen and perceived as inferior. the physical characteristics such as kinky hair, dark complexion brown eyes, religious beliefs which may be non Christian like polytheism, Confucianism and Islam, collective social set up, mind only the present time unlike the whites who mind the future and language characteristics such as the use of non standard English are seen as less desirable by the members in the society. This perception affects every sector in the society such as work places, schools and in the health care services (Leahey, 2003, p 35).
Worldview influence on relating to other people, institutions, nature, time,
The cultural world view influences how a person perceives others to be. One may see that other people’s culture are unpopular, less qualified, les intelligent and have undesirable traits. The healthcare service providers who fall in the dominant group will be more likely have the power of influencing the practices and actions to be taken within the sector. They impose believes and standard to those perceived to be of the minority groups. This is the concept of ethnocentric monoculturalism in action. This leads to those perceived be not of the positive and standard cultural heritage to be stereotyped and biased. They will not have the power to fight against the superior because they cannot share in the social, economic and political power in an equal way to the Whites. This means that they cannot be abele to discriminate in a large way. The oppression harm and damage is most likely to be one-sided. The healthcare professionals and healthcare givers will construct structures, polices and practices based on ethnocentric values to attain a god-father like and untouchable status in the health organization . Such an organization will, demand compliance. Social workers and therapist have to be credible in their actions and practices to avoid damaging others instead of healing them.
Stone, J (2005) Journal of social; and Clinical physiology culture and disability, pp 129-149, Thousand Oak, Sage.
Sue, D (2006) Multicultural social work practice, Publisher John pp 50
Leahey, T. (2003). A history of psychology: Main currents in psychological thought, p 345
Guthrie, R.V. (2004). Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology Boston: Pearson.