Strategies for Cultural Competence

Strategy IV: Know Your Own Culture to Know Others

We see the world not as it is but as we are. If we are aware of the values of our culture we project them onto other people. This means we assume that all people regardless of background:

 Want the same things that we do (and that kids want what we wanted)

 Behave the way they do for the same reasons we would (children behave as we did when we were young)

 Feel and react to situations just like we do

Each of us has our own culturally conditioned perspective point of view. Culture is a “socially transmitted design for living” and there is nothing wrong with liking your own culture and believing that your own values are right for you.
The problem comes when we assume that everyone shares our culture – we tend to have difficulty recognizing when our culture stops and universal needs to begin.
When we stereotype another person are we not imposing our learned values on them too?