Cultural Informant Project

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Cultural Informant Project

This assignment involves researching and interviewing someone from a community different from your own. This assignment has two parts: (1) a brief literature review and (2) an interview.

Brief Literature Review

The literature review is intended to familiarize you with literature pertaining to the community that you have chosen. Find literature relevant to the community that you are learning about; what you choose to address may depend specifically on the community. Some possible considerations are mental health utilization rates, cultural values, mental health stigma, treatment, or implications for working with this community; these ideas are not exhaustive. Be sure to address aspects that are salient to that specific community. Students must highlight a current body of work or theory(ies) relevant to professional practice with this community. The paper should be at least 4 pages in length. Resources must be recent (within the past 10 years; resources must be from peer-reviewed journal articles).

Cultural Interview and Reflection

After completing the literature review, interview someone from that community. Ask the person to be an informant regarding the subtle aspects of culture and his or her influence on possible clinical issues. This informer should have a relatively strong identification with the group she or he is discussing. The person will act like a “gatekeeper” for his or her cultural group. Pay particular attention to systemic issues of oppression/social injustice—that is, sexism, racism, heterosexism, classism; contextualize the individual within her or his societal/social-political-economic background and his or her cultural-historical background; clarify the impact of these issues on how the person functions in the wider Eurocentric social system and/or differences in functioning within her or his respective cultural contexts; finally, identify whether clinical, counseling, or communication skills might need modification to increase effectiveness.

At the conclusion of your interview you will submit a three-page reflection paper that includes your general thoughts/reactions about the interview and what you learned (e.g., how you felt while conducting the interview, what you learned about yourself and the community in this process, and implications for practice)—do not provide a verbatim transcript or summary of the interview. How did the information the person gave contrast with what you read in the literature? Again, these ideas are not exhaustive; they only serve as a starting place for consideration.

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