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WEEK+4+-+The+Dual+Perspective (2)

WEEK+4+-+The+Dual+Perspective (2) - D Dolores(1978 The dual...

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D. Dolores (1978). The dual perspective or ethnic minority content in the social work curriculum . New York: Council on Social Work Education. While this is an old citation and an abbreviated version, it is still relevant in today’s world to help us to understand diversity. The Dual Perspective Definition The dual perspective is the conscious and systematic process of perceiving, understanding, and comparing simultaneously the values, attitudes, and behavior of the larger societal system with those of the client’s immediate family and community system. It is the conscious awareness on the cognitive and attitudinal levels of the similarities and differences in the two systems. It requires substantive knowledge and empathic appreciation of both the majority societal system and the minority client system, as well as a conscious awareness of the social worker’s own attitudes and values. Thus, the dual perspective allows one to experience each system from the point of view of the other. The dual perspective then is an attitudinal and a cognitive approach. It is a non-judgmental perception of the clients’ cultural forms, interactional styles, and behavioral responses within those of the larger society. This perception leads the social worker to view the clients’ responses in the context of their sociocultural circumstances. The intent is to broaden the social worker’s understanding and sensitivity to the totality of the life situation of the client group and to build services on the needs of that particular situation. The concept of the dual perspective grew out of the idea that every individual is a part of two systems: the larger system of the dominant society, and the smaller system of the client’s immediate physical and social environment. It is a conceptual tool that describes a very complex process, a complexity that stems from the variety of subsystems within each of the two systems. It juxtaposes the various elements involved and focuses on the degree of incongruence between the two systems. The dual perspective is an essential entity that exists whether or not a social worker recognizes and uses it. The degree of incongruence between the societal system and the client’s system is a critical consideration. In a society that rejects the immediate environmental system of racial minorities, the achievement of congruence for the minority client is severely limited, if not impossible. It is this fact that makes the dual perspective uniquely suited for working with ethnic minority groups. One of the distinguishing features of professionals is the kind of decisions they make and the knowledge they use in making these decisions. The dual perspective provides a frame of reference for making more effective professional decisions. It increases the awareness of possible and actual points of conflict between the minority client’s perspective and that of the dominant society. It
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enhances awareness of the structural-institutional sources that contribute to the wish inequality of opportunity for minority groups.
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