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4.1 Thinking about gender

So far in this unit you have considered some general issues concerning difference, diversity and communication in care services, and how these issues relate specifically to ‘race’ and ethnicity. In this section we move on to another area that has been the focus of debate and of initiatives in policy and practice. As with ethnicity, the roots of much current thinking about gender in health and social care are the campaigns of activists in the 1970s and 1980s. However, it is also important
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3.14 Challenging racism

Section 2.3 explored strategies for ‘working with difference’ in care services, based on an approach that acknowledges diversity in communication needs. You saw that there are dangers in strategies that adopt too rigid a notion of ethnicity, such as the danger of homogenising diverse groups of people. There is also a danger that such strategies might result in a reinforcement of discriminatory practice.

Although the approach to inter-ethnic or cross-cultural communication described
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3.12 Services for inter-ethnic communications

Another way in which services have attempted to respond to issues of inter-ethnic communication is the provision of services for people whose first language is not English. You may remember this appeared to be the key ‘problem’ in the case study which launched the discussion of ‘difference’ in Section 1. As noted there, poor communication in health services can have serious consequences, leading to misdiagnosis, ineffective interventions and, in extreme circumstances, preventable deat
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3.10 Working with difference

If ‘racial’ or ethnic differences are produced as part of a process that ‘racialises’ certain groups as ‘other’, how should services respond to the issue of difference? What practical steps can service providers take to ensure all members of the population, whatever their assumed ethnicity, have equal access to services and can participate fully?

Lena Robinson is a psychologist and social work educator who has written extensively on issues of cross-cultural communication for
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3.7 The process of 'racialisation'

Stereotypes of African–Caribbean families

There are many African–Caribbean families in British inner cities – London, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. African–Caribbean communities tend to live in sections of the city where there may be poor housing but they prefer to live where there are oth
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2.4 The social construction of ‘difference’

Social constructionists take issue with psychological accounts of human behaviour, criticising them for making universal generalisations and for having too great a focus on the individual. By contrast, a social constructionist approach sees behaviour as shaped by social context, and by issues of power and knowledge.

Those arguing from a critical social perspective would criticise essentialist accounts of difference for several reasons. First, they would argue that there is a danger of m
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2.3 Ways of understanding ‘difference’

The debate about the nature and causes of ethnic, gender and other ‘differences’ is complex and contentious. Here, for the sake of simplicity, two very broad and contrasting perspectives on the issue are presented. Understanding different theoretical perspectives on an issue is important, since these perspectives impact on and influence policy and practice. In this instance, the way in which ‘difference’ is understood has important consequences for how difference is responded to, whet
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1. Introducing diversity and difference

This unit focuses on issues of difference and diversity in a specific sense. Rather than analysing diversity in terms of kinds of communication and relationships, the focus here shifts to diversity in terms the people involved in interactions in care settings. Again, it is simple common sense to state that ‘good’ communication in health and social care services involves acknowledging and responding to the diverse needs and backgrounds of everyone involved, whether service us
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Introduction

Interpersonal communication in health and social care services is by its nature diverse. As a consequence, achieving good or effective communication – whether between service providers and service users, or among those working in a service – means taking account of diversity, rather than assuming that every interaction will be the same. This unit explores the ways in which difference and diversity impact on the nature of communication in health and social care services.

This materia
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence (not subject to Creative Commons licence).

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission:

Illustrations

Figure 1 (top right, middle left and bottom left): www.britainview.com; (top left): John Birdsall Photography; (bottom right): BBC, BBC London Live and BBC London Live Chatroom word marks and logos are trade ma
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References

Ahmad, W.I.U. and Atkin, K. (eds) (1996) ‘Race’ and Community Care, Buckingham, Open University Press.
Alibhai-Brown, Y. (2000) Who do we think we are? Imagining the new Britain, London, The Penguin Press.
Beveridge, W.H. (1942) Social Insurance and Allied Services, Cmd 6404, London, HMSO.
Burchardt, T., Hills,
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2 Community

As you've just seen, ‘community’, an ever present word, evokes some contrasting meanings. It has been described as a ‘keyword’, that is, a word which has its own particular history but which also plays a significant role in putting across different meanings. Identifying a keyword is to go further than just giving a dictionary definition because:

Keywords have been more than ways of seeing: they have been influe
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Introduction

The unit you are about to study is exciting and stimulating. Working with adults in the community is changing at a pace that can sometimes feel bewildering. Practitioners are being asked to review what they are doing in a critical way and to adopt new approaches. For example, the word ‘community’ is one that we all use quite readily and is at the heart of many social work policies. However, we tend to take it for granted that everyone means the same thing when they talk about a com
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References

Alaszewski, A. (1986) Institutional Care and the Mentally Handicapped: The Mental Handicap Hospital, Croom Helm, London.
Atkinson, D. (1997) An Auto/biographical Approach to Learning Disability Research, Ashgate, Aldershot.
Binney, M. (1995) ‘Introduction’ in Philips, E. Mind Over Matter: A Study of the Country's Threatened Mental Asylums, SAVE Britain
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2.2.8 Campaigns for change

Here we consider where some of the pressure for change was coming from in the earlier part of the twentieth century. Throughout the period of institutional domination there were, as we've seen from the early 1800s, voices which called out for change. Some contrasted the treatment of the sick and disabled poor with their richer counterparts in the private asylums. Others protested at the general inhumanity of regimented, mass care. Patients and their relatives had mixed experiences to draw on,
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2.2.2 Treatment regimes

As well as asylums which housed people with mental illness and learning difficulties there was a turn towards a style of mass provision generally.

Development of special schools for disabled children began in 1750 when the first private schools for blind and deaf children were opened in Britain. The earliest public institution, run on a charitable basis, the London Asylum for the ‘support and education of the deaf and dumb children of the poor’, was opened in Bermondsey, south Londo
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2.2 1 Social Darwinism and eugenics

Nineteenth century reformers combined their new medical diagnoses with a concern to tackle what they saw as the social causes of cruelty and incapacity. Two theories dominated: social Darwinism and eugenics.

Social Darwinism drew on Darwin's ideas of natural selection and emphasised the contribution of the fittest and most superior individuals to the survival of the human species. The social Darwinists, who included some of the most prominent thinkers of their time, believed that social
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1.7 Establishing boundaries

Activity 6 Managing the hidden culture

0 hours 15 minutes

Imagine now that you are Marie's manager and you decide to call in at the unit on your way back from a day out. You ofte
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3: The five giants

At this point let us examine the idea of the ‘five giants’ (Want, Ignorance, Disease, Squalor and Idleness). Beveridge, remember, was not just writing about income protection; he had a vision of social reconstruction and social progress. The five giants represented the key areas of need for all of us – the areas where we should pool resources to tackle our needs collectively (see the box below).

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1.2.3 Did Beveridge wear blinkers?

Activity 2: Who isn't mentioned?

0 hours 10 minutes

Jacobs singled out several groups who were not covered by the insurance scheme. They include:

    <
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