in-Between, Across, and Within Difference: An Examination of "Cultural Competence"

Jonathan Morris

Abstract


“Cultural competence” is often part of contemporary discourses of practice in child and youth care and is often referred to in curricula and documents that lay out the expected competencies of practitioners. This article represents an effort to critically examine the notion of “cultural competence”, paying particular attention to how “culture” and “competence” are taken up in the literature, and how they are positioned in relation to each other in the context of practice. Efforts are made to critique the idea that “culturally competent” practice can be attained through the linear and proceduralized acquisition of pre-specified competencies. Rather, an argument is made for the development of a practice that is critically reflexive, relational, and constantly in motion while working inbetween, across, and within difference.

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies

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© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada

 

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