Acknowledging Cultural Differences

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    • 00:05

      SPEAKER 1: So in talking about the two different cultures,one thing that I did just want to mentionas well as well is obviously I'm not from Argentina.And we have been talking about, and Ihave been learning a lot about whatthe culture is like in Argentina.But one thing I wanted to mention to youis to definitely let me know if youfeel that I'm making any sort of assumptionin between the Canada versus Argentina.

    • 00:28

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: Because in my experience, it is very different being in Canada,where it's perfectly acceptable to be gay and getmarried and hold hands, like you mentioned.So it's definitely something to be aware about,and let me know if that comes into play.Because I definitely don't want to makeit seem like I'm ignoring that piece.Another thing that I also wanted to mention

    • 00:48

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: is that there is also a differencebetween the two of us in terms of someof the other cultural groups that we belong in.For myself, I'm a straight male, whichis different from a gay female.So there could be some assumptions that come alongwith being a straight male that I may unintentionally think

    • 01:09

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: or play on to you.So another thing I wanted to bring to your attentionis that please let me know if you feel that that's happening,and that's something that we can talk about.I definitely want to be aware, and I'm definitelytrying to be aware, about the differences between us.But it could happen that some of those assumptionscould play through.So it's important that you would bring those to my attention,

    • 01:31

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: and we can talk about them.As we're talking about these issues related to gender,sexual orientation, a little culture piece there as well,one thing I'm wondering is-- I'm obviouslymembers of some different groups,whereas I'm a straight male from Canada.And one thing I'm wondering is, what'sit like for you talking about this with me,

    • 01:53

      SPEAKER 1 [continued]: who's a member of those different groups?

    • 01:55

      SPEAKER 2: Well, to tell you the truth,I was a little concerned when I came in.I think I would have preferred to be a woman, preferablya gay woman.But I think being here and after talking to you for a while,I feel more OK.I feel [INAUDIBLE].

    • 02:15

      SPEAKER 1: OK.So do you feel that there is a safe environment for youto discuss?

    • 02:19

      SPEAKER 2: Exactly.

    • 02:19

      SPEAKER 1: OK, perfect.

Acknowledging Cultural Differences

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Abstract

Maria is a 24-year old, second-generation Argentinian woman living in Canada who came out as a lesbian last year. Her parents are devout Catholics and opposed to homosexuality, and she feels they have not fully absorbed her sexual orientation—they see it as a “phase”. She feels they are very gradually adjusting, but is concerned that announcing the plan to move in with her partner Lisa would disturb the current peaceful equilibrium in their relationship. Maria is getting pressure from Lisa, but is concerned that moving in would be extremely upsetting to her parents, and she is stuck as to how to go forward. In this clip, Alex is transparent about what he perceives as cultural differences between himself and Maria. Based on the use of the term “culture” introduced in Chapter One, which cultural subgroups does he point to in naming potential differences? Besides raising the perceived differences, how does Alex turn it back to Maria? What impact do you see this exchange potentially having on Maria’s impression of Alex’s openness to her unique experience? What aspects of this practice might you have done similarly/differently? Alex here refers to differences in ethnic cultural backgrounds as well as sexual orientation and gender. Of course it does not go without saying that differences in their participation in these various subgroups will have a bearing on the work with Maria. However, by naming these and inviting Maria to comment, he gives her a chance to register her concerns and is also conveying an openness to discussing perceived cultural differences if she would like at any time to address them.

Acknowledging Cultural Differences

Maria is a 24-year old, second-generation Argentinian woman living in Canada who came out as a lesbian last year. Her parents are devout Catholics and opposed to homosexuality, and she feels they have not fully absorbed her sexual orientation—they see it as a “phase”. She feels they are very gradually adjusting, but is concerned that announcing the plan to move in with her partner Lisa would disturb the current peaceful equilibrium in their relationship. Maria is getting pressure from Lisa, but is concerned that moving in would be extremely upsetting to her parents, and she is stuck as to how to go forward. In this clip, Alex is transparent about what he perceives as cultural differences between himself and Maria. Based on the use of the term “culture” introduced in Chapter One, which cultural subgroups does he point to in naming potential differences? Besides raising the perceived differences, how does Alex turn it back to Maria? What impact do you see this exchange potentially having on Maria’s impression of Alex’s openness to her unique experience? What aspects of this practice might you have done similarly/differently? Alex here refers to differences in ethnic cultural backgrounds as well as sexual orientation and gender. Of course it does not go without saying that differences in their participation in these various subgroups will have a bearing on the work with Maria. However, by naming these and inviting Maria to comment, he gives her a chance to register her concerns and is also conveying an openness to discussing perceived cultural differences if she would like at any time to address them.

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