Bob Kirk

What cultural competency is not!

Asked by Bob Kirk 1 year ago definition


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According to Lebaron and Zumeta, cultural competency “does not mean having an encyclopaedic knowledge of myriad cultural groups to apply in specific circumstances. It does mean familiarity with culture as an underground river that shapes expectations, understandings, and actions… [and is] an ongoing process, never fully achieved because of constant change”[1]. As US legal academics Susan Bryant and Jean Koh Peters have stated: “all lawyering is cross-cultural”[2]. Importantly cultural competency also includes the ability to ‘critically reflect upon one’s own culture and professional paradigms’ and therefore requires the capacity for self reflection on ourselves as cultural beings as to how our own cultural (and professional) background influences how we communicate and perceive the world around us.
[1] Lebaron, M. And Zumeta, Z. D. (2003)‘Windows on Diversity: Lawyers, Culture and Mediation Practice’, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 2 (4), 466.[2] See Susan Bryant (2001) ‘The Five Habits: Building Cross-Cultural Competence in Lawyers’, Clinical Law Review 8, 33-107.

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What cultural competency is not!

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