Volume 3, Issue 4, March, 2018

Special Edition:Teaching and Training in Cross Cultural Competencies

Guest Editor: Dr Venkat Pulla



Dr Venkat Pulla , Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, ILWS, Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia


# Metoo Movement: An Awareness Campaign

Dr Rituparna Bhattacharyya, Independent Researcher and Editor-in-Chief, Journal Space and Culture, India (Pages 1 to 12)

The aftermath of the strings of sexual allegations faced by  Harvey Weinstein,  one of the most powerful faces of Hollywood, the #metoo movement went viral in social media. This innovative and creative movement was initially launched in 2006 by Tarana Burke aimed at helping survivors of sexual harassment. Taking examples from different countries, this commentary attempts to analyse the #metoo movement and answer the question as to why most victims of sexual harassment chose to remain silent.


Asylum Seekers Prejudice: Tertiary education, the media, and the government

Russell Hawkins and Samuel C. McWatersDepartment of Psychology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia (Pages 13 to 29)

A review of media reports and government communications showed evidence of anti-asylum seeker sentiment and prejudicial attitudes towards asylum seekers in Australia (those arriving by boat). In the context of this background, reasons for the unexpected finding of relatively low levels of prejudice towards asylum seekers in a sample of university students from a north Queensland university are discussed, including the potential relevance of a relationship between attitudes and educational level. The salience of education in attitude formation led to a discussion of the importance of culturally aware university teaching policies to counter prejudice based on misinformation or bias. University teaching policies, in turn, have been strongly influenced by professional accreditation requirements, particularly in the health sector. Attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers are also used to illustrate the role of good journalism in attitude formation and examples of positive and negative journalism practices are described. While much greater attention to cultural awareness issues is evident in current university teaching, there is, as yet, no strong evidence to support positive outcomes as a result of this teaching focus.


Interrogating Gender Dynamics in the Context of Indigenous and Innovative Social Work Practice in Kenya

Neema Nungari Salim, Department of Sociology and Social  Work, University of Nairobi (Pages 30 to 60)

This paper explores the discourse on indigenous and innovative Social Work with particular reference to how men and women respond to social problems from a gendered perspective.    Humankind has been faced with survival challenges, oftentimes with catastrophic results such as gross loss of life due to high mortality, lack of food, shelter, security, all leading to unpredictable social and economic social dysfunctions. Existing evidence portrays women as being very instrumental in bringing about innovative social and economic solutions, thus countering their vulnerabilities and those of their children. Such eventualities would require indigenous and innovative social work interventions to counter the negative consequences of adverse phenomena on the lives of men and women in the social setting. Pages 30 to 60. 


Educating social workers for leadership in a highly differentiated society

Margarita Frederico, Maureen Long, Janelle Young, Discipline of Social Work and Social Policy, Department of Community and Clinical Allied Health, School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia. (Pages 61 to 72)

Realization of the 2010 Social Work and Social Development Conference global agenda requires social workers to assume leadership. Although there has been acknowledgement in the social work profession that leadership should be taught at all levels of social work education; there is still an apparent lack of social workers occupying leadership roles in the global sphere. This paper argues that when the social work leadership paradigm is not visible in society, the profession is not meeting its purpose.


Identity, Ethnicity and School Education: An Institutional Ethnography of schools in Assam

Dr Aparajita Sharma, Research Coordinator Right to Education Forum (Pages 73 to 89)

The author in this article shows various identities and perceptions about how identity groups are formed through invisible and visible pedagogies in school. The context is set against the protracted conflict in BTAD (Bodoland Territorial Administrative District) in Assam. The article is based on institutional ethnography of 10 schools in the BTAD region of Assam. The respondents belong to three groups primarily Bodo, Assamese, Muslim teachers and students.


Transcultural Issues in Regional Settlement of Refugees

Ndungi wa MungaiIgnatius Chida, MSW (Pages 90 to 105)

This article presents a review of some salient issues in working cross culturally with resettled migrants with refugee backgrounds. Using two teaching cases we demonstrate the advantage of refugee background migrants having mentors and being assisted to learn some skills. The cases also demonstrate the importance of workers understanding the cultural backgrounds of their clients. Rural and regional settings provide some unique challenges like limited services, while at the same time offering some opportunities like agricultural product processing and seasonal farm work. Some of the challenges and opportunities may apply across the board to migrants from different non-European backgrounds, but some may be unique to people with refugee backgrounds.


 The Imagined Contact Hypothesis: Prejudice towards asylum seekers in Australia

Samuel C. McWaters and Russell Hawkins, Department of Psychology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia (Pages106 to 119)

This study was prompted by awareness of prejudicial attitudes towards refugees evident in Australian media and politics. It used some innovative measures of prejudice including the distance apart in chair placements made by respondents prior to sitting next to a refugee and estimates of the hypothetical dollar value of resources to be allocated to refugees in comparison with the amount to be allocated to indigenous Australians and other social groups. More conventional attitude scale measures were also used (the Attitudes Towards Asylum Seekers Scale, an infrahumanisation measure, an empathy measure, a measure of perspective taking). In an attempt to reduce prejudice levels, the social psychology technique of imagined contact with an outgroup (asylum seekers who travel to Australia by boat) was used. The low levels of prejudice found in the present sample were both gratifying and somewhat unexpected. The study needs to be replicated with a community sample comparison group included or one initially shown to hold more strongly prejudicial attitudes.


Teaching Cultures in English as International Language (EIL): A Political Model for Asia-Pacific Countries 

Thi Thuy Le, University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi and Shen Chen University of Newcastle, Australia (Pages 120 to 143)

In response to the new changes at all levels in the world globalisation, each nation in Asia-Pacific region shows its eagerness to build and develop sustainable education and to maintain harmony in relationships with different nations. As a realisation of macro level policies, foreign language education policy places its focus on the promotion of foreign languages teaching for intercultural communication and calls for a change in language teaching. However, there exists a gap between language policy and pedagogical practice in the context of Asia-Pacific countries. Focusing on the complex question of how best to teach cultures in EIL, this article proposes to answer a question of what should be the most appropriate approach to teaching cultures in English language education in the sociocultural context of Asia-Pacific countries in the light of existing models available. It attempts to resolve the problem of culture teaching in Asia-Pacific countries’ English language education by describing the political model. Two main points will be made clear, including what components to be included in the model, and why the model can be considered an advanced model to suit this context.


Educating students to work with diverse communities –Building reflexive practice

Venkat Pulla, Australian Catholic University, Australia. (Pages 144 to 176)

The aim of the paper is to present ideas to engage students in reflexive practice and prepare them for their work with diverse communities i.e. communities that are other than their own language grouping, birth country origin, colour, creed, religious or spiritual beliefs and or sexual orientation. This paper describes my understanding and approach to transformational learning and reflexivity.  More specifically the paper presents explanations around the usage of concepts of reflexivity, positionality, privilege, situated knowledge and perceptions, and the intricate relationships between these concepts. This explanation is offered in the first instance as part of developing a practice in social work to build competencies.








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