Cultural history and values play a crucial in different life perspectives in individuals. Individual character, behavior, and impact on the others are influenced by cultural beliefs and historical background of an individual (Laqueur, 2017). The values instilled through cultural beliefs and historical lineage define the impact of the person in relation to ethnic interactions. Social workers interact with a wide range of ethnic groups which gives calls them to embrace their cultural and historical understanding in effective interaction with diverse ethnic groups. Understanding and appreciating the diversity cultural and historical upbringing influences shaping of life experiences in different environmental levels, engage constituencies and clients as per their experiences and putting personal biases and values under control (Laqueur, 2017).
Role of cultural History and values in shaping life experiences
Family and culture influence one's behavior, personality, beliefs, and values. This correlates to the life experiences exhibited across one's life. Family interactions impact children's stress levels, behavior and general personality at early stages. Imitation of the senior members of the society is pointed out as a key to the influence on the cultural influence carried along the family lineage (Kolb, 2014). The historical values of the society are passed on to generations through imitations. In this light, the family plays a huge role in upholding the community's cultural values and history. The culture in which an individual is raised affects the morality, happiness, mortality, behavior, and personality. Therefore, it is imperative to the social workers to understand the diversity in cultural beliefs, values, and history of different societies to deliver quality services efficiently.
Social workers should understand the impact of environmental and biological factors on the personality of individual community members. Children's personality and behavior are influenced by environmental and biological factors. Family and culture collectively influence the nature of an individual. Basically, the surrounding a person is raised in, based on the religious, cuisine, traditions, and cultural norms define the interaction within the family, community and among diverse groups (Kolb, 2014). Family influences the character and behavior of its members through adherence to similar rules, customs, and practices. Religious families tend to instill spiritual cues in the family members and therefore exhibiting spirituality in their daily activities. In that light, interactions with other groups of people advocate for the adherence to religious practices. Therefore, the key values of the society are transferred to the family members through basic interaction. However, behavior and cultural practices, as well as personality values, are also influenced by parental guidance as well as other senior family members. Discipline, social skills self-esteem can be influenced by environmental, culture and family history. Some families regard discipline highly and therefore discipline among the family members is paramount and prevalent along diverse society levels. Family, friends and work interactions are characterized by a high sense of discipline. On the other hand, an individual from a highly social family exhibits a good sense of socialization and experience swift integration in new environments. Self esteem can be influenced by the cultural beliefs and historical background of the family members. Some individuals fall victims of their ethnic groups and tend to second guess on their ability to match other ethnic groups.
Cultural values and history of an individual influence the understanding of other diverse groups and appreciate the differences (Kolb, 2014). However, the interaction is attributed mainly to the cultural values and history which point out the value for family life, dress code, pride, and humility as well as the manners. Values are influenced by the internal and external environment which include family members, friends, workplace, religion, culture, technology, media and important life events such as death, divorce, health issues, financial changes and loss of a job. The dominant values are carried along by many family members and therefore, by inferring to different life experiences of the individuals from same family lineage highlights similarities in the dominant values. Different people have different values which make is critical in recognizing values upheld by other people. Dominant values are linked to factors such as race, religion, gender, culture, and language. Therefore, it can be deducted that interaction between people who share a variety of value-determining factors is easier compared to other groups (Kolb, 2014). However, understanding the culture, history, and values of diverse groups facilitates good interaction among diverse ethnic groups.
Role of Cultural History and Values in Clients and Constituencies engagement
Engagement of clients and constituencies by the social workers requires diverse knowledge on individual experience with their history and culture. Therefore, the cultural history of the clients and the constituencies is important to consider in the engagement in social work in a community. It is important to understand the diversity in the values among different individuals. Clients may also be from diverse ethnic groups with a diverse historical background which reflect in different values as far as religion, culture, cuisine, and traditions are concerned. The health history of constituencies can be evaluated with reference to the cultural values and the health history of the population (Dozier et al. 2011). The important values portrayed by the community members provide social workers with important information on addressing the important social concerns of the community. on the other hand, handling clients requires respect and appreciation to cultural beliefs, norms, and practices. Social workers interact with many multiracial clients who exhibit different cultural beliefs and values. Therefore, understanding personal history and values equip social workers with necessary skills to mobilize the constituencies along with the clients and consequently improve the community's wellbeing. Additionally, addressing the community members can be facilitated through favorable media channels and other means of communication which are embraced by the majority of the community members (Dozier et al. 2011).
Role of Cultural History and Values on Management of Personal Bias and Values
Social workers are prone to biasness based on individual perception, beliefs, and personality. Clients may exhibit different personalities which make it tough for social workers to interact with them smoothly. However, embracing cultural history and values aids in defining the diversity in the clients. In this light, it is easier to meet the clients' demands based on personal, cultural history. There are disparities in cultural beliefs which calls for respect for each client's cultural norms. On the other hand, personal values may contradict with the client's or constituencies' values. Therefore, social workers ought to adjust and allow the client's and constituents the frontline in the adoption of social work policies through the aid of social workers (Ting-Toomey & Dorjee, 2018). However, social workers need to understand the disparities in cultural history and values and establish a connection that will facilitate a conducive working environment with the client and the constituencies.
Cultural history and values are crucial in service delivery by social workers. Therefore, it is upon the social workers to apply individual cultural history and values and reflect the same in interacting with diverse groups. The close connection between the cultural history and values defines the perceptions of a population which defines the engagement point adopted by social workers.
Dozier, A., Hacker, K., Silberberg, M., & Ziegahn, L. (2011). The value of social networking in community engagement. Principles of Community Engagement, 151-160.
Kolb, D. A. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. FT press.
Laqueur, W. (2017). Weimar: A cultural history. Routledge.
Ting-Toomey, S., & Dorjee, T. (2018). Communicating across cultures. Guilford Publications.
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