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10/23/2013 1 “DEATH BY CULTURE”: ENGAGING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN CREATING COMPASSIONATE COMMUNITIES Sujata Warrier, PhD Phone: 212-417-5944 e-mail: [email protected] ©Sujata Warrier, 2013

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“DEATH BY CULTURE”: ENGAGING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN CREATING COMPASSIONATE COMMUNITIES

Sujata Warrier, PhD Phone: 212-417-5944

e-mail: [email protected] ©Sujata Warrier, 2013

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An Old Berber Song…

So vast the prison crushing me, Release, where will you come from?

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For a minute….. You are facing the Old Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

Walk around its walls until you come to a brass strip set in the pavement. The smooth, gold band in the ground marks the Prime Meridian, or Longitude Zero… Stand to the left- hand side of the brass strip and your are in the Western hemisphere. But move a yard to the right, and you enter the East: whoever you are, you have been translated from a European into an Oriental1.

Young, R.C. (1995) Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race. Routledge:London, p.1

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Why Should We Consider Culture? Culture shapes an individual’s experience of the world.

Culture shapes how someone responds to intervention.

Culture shapes access to other services that might be crucial for people.

The culture of the advocate/professional, the system and the other person will impact outcome.

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What Is Culture? Historically and anthropologically thought to be

a stable pattern of beliefs, values, thoughts, norms etc.. that are transmitted from generation to generation for successfully adapting to other group members and their environment.

The problem is that this is an outdated definition.

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Definition Of Culture A critical definition of culture refers to shared experiences or

commonalities that have developed and continue to evolve in relation to changing social and political contexts, based on:

race ethnicity national origin sexuality gender religion age class

disability status immigration status education geographic location (space) rural, urban, time, or other axes of identification within the historical context

of oppression

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Intersectionality People live multiple, layered lives derived from social relations,

history and the operation of the structures of power. Understanding intersectionality exposes all types of

discrimination that occur as a consequence of the combination.

Something unique is produced at the point of intersection – full complexity of experiences.

No slotting people, no single form of discrimination – exposes full range of vulnerabilities as it links all structures of oppressions.

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Cultural Context In all cultures, contexts of privilege and access

are created by certain norms against which all other sub groups are compared.

In Canada, attributes of the dominant culture includes English as a primary language, “whiteness”, Christianity, physically able, male, economic resources and heterosexuality.

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Cultural Context Privileges and access arise from having one or

more of the above attributes of identity. Privilege includes not having to recognize own culture as norm, access to resources, connections and status.

Privileges for one group can create the dynamics of domination.

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Gender Based Violence Gender Based Violence (GBV) occurs on a

continuum - beginning with female foeticide and ending with women murder and includes female infanticide, incest, sexual harassment, poverty, and domestic violence.

VAW can also be understood as occurring on a tightening spiral or a coil or as a corkscrew.

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Gender Based Violence As much as patriarchal domination varies in shape,

form and texture so too does GBV. Since violence is used to control women in

patriarchal societies, it is important to understand the nature of patriarchy and its relationship to other forms of oppression such as racism, colonialism, heterosexuality etc.

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Everyday World

The Everyday World

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A web of agencies and political entities make up Institutions of Social Management (ISM’s)

Institutions of Social Management

Child Protection

Law Enforcement

and Criminal Courts

Civil Courts

Family & Juvenile Courts

Mental Health

Colleges Universities

Tech. Institutes

Housing Authority

K-12 Educa-

tion

Everyday World

TANF Medi

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Regulatory bodies and economic systems shape the functioning of the ISM’s

Economic System

Regulatory Bodies

Institutions of Social Management

Child Protection

Law Enforcement

and Criminal Courts

Civil Courts

Family & Juvenile Courts

Psych. Professions

Colleges Universities

Tech. Institutes

Housing Authority

K-12 Educa-

tion

Everyday World

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Discourse and Dominant Ideologies

Discourse

•There is a world of discourse, comprised of language, theories, concepts…

•That “abstract world” of discourse is applied by practitioners (within ISM’s) to situations in the

everyday world •The discourse shapes how practitioners think

about the situations they are handling •The ideology of the institution is carried through

the discourse into workers’ practices •Discourse is not produced locally, but extra-locally

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“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anias Nin

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Working Assumptions CULTURALLY COMPETENT ASSUMPTIONS: All cultures are contradictory in that there are both widespread acceptance of

oppressive practices as part of society and traditions of resistance.

Each victim is not only a member of her/his community, but a unique individual with their own responses. The complexity of a person’s response is shaped by multiple factors.

Each individual comes into any encounter with cultural experiences and perspectives that might differ from those present in the system.

All institutions have to develop specific policies and procedures to systematically build cultural competence.

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Dynamics of Difference “…encourage us to tolerate and interpret ambivalence,

ambiguity, and multiplicity as well as expose the roots of our need for imposing order and structure no matter how arbitrary and oppressive these needs may be. If we do our work well, reality will appear more unstable, complex and disorderly than it does now.” J.Flax, 1990. Thinking Fragments:Psychoanalysis, Feminism and

Postmodernism in the Contemporary West. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp.56-7

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Each step and sub-step assigned a specialist

Fragmentation (Specialization)

911 Operator Officer

Judge Prosecutor

Defense Atty.

Defense Atty. Prosecutor

Judge

Judge Prosecutor

Defense Atty. Probation Officer

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Fragmentation (decontextualizing) Each event is a separate case

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Praxis – Rural Technical Assistance on Violence Against Women 10/23/2013 ©Sujata Warrier, 2013 21

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911 Call

Squads Investigate

Arrest No Arrest

Arrest Report

Non-Arrest Report

Jail

Arraignment Hearing

No Contact Order

Conditions of Release

Pre-Trial/ Hearing

Trial Sentencing Monitoring/Probation

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/ ARREST INCIDENT

Praxis – Rural Technical Assistance on Violence Against Women

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Initial Intervention Unit Contacted

Child Protection Screening

CP Investigation

Child Welfare Assessment

Child Maltreatment Assessment Law Enforcement

Notified

Risk Assessment

Service Plan

Safety Plan

CP Case Mgmt

CD Assessment

Psych/Mental Health

Parenting Education

Visitation

Individual/Family Therapy

DV Classes

Emergency Placement

EPC Hearing

Safety Assessment

CHIPS COURT

Court Oversees and Sanctions Plan

Child Placement

CHILD PROTECTION MAP

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Landlord/HRA Notified

Warning Given

Eviction Hearing

Sheriff Evicts

HOUSING MAP

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Advocacy Program Files OFP

Seeks Shelter

Ex Parte Granted

Sheriff Serves Respondent

Ex Parte Denied

Judge Reviews

Civil Court Hearing

OFP Granted

OFP Denied

Reliefs Granted

OFP Filed

ORDER FOR PROTECTION – CIVIL COURT PROCESS

Supervised Exchange/Visitation Praxis – Rural Technical Assistance on Violence Against Women

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CUSTODY MAP

Supervised Exchange/Visitation

Files for Divorce

Family Court Hearing

Final Divorce Hearing

Custody Evaluation

Interviews by Evaluator

Custody Awarded

Child Support Established

Custody Hearing

Temporary Custody

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Advocacy Program

Landlord/HRA Notified

Warning Given

Eviction Hearing

Sheriff Evicts

911 Call

Squads Investigate

Arrest No Arrest

Arrest Report

Non-Arrest Report

Jail

Arraignment Hearing

No Contact Order

Conditions of Release

Pre-Trial/ Hearing

Trial Sentencing Monitoring/Probation

Files OFP

Seeks Shelter

Ex Parte Granted

Sheriff Serves Respondent

Ex Parte Denied

Judge Reviews

Civil Court Hearing

Initial Intervention Unit Contacted

Child Protection Screening

CP Investigation

Child Welfare Assessment

Child Maltreatment Assessment

Law Enforcement Notified

Risk Assessment

Service Plan

Safety Plan

CP Case Mgmt

CD Assessment

Psych/Mental Health

Parenting Education

Visitation

Individual/Family Therapy

DV Classes

Emergency Placement

EPC Hearing

Safety Assessment

CHIPS COURT

Court Oversees and Sanctions Plan

Child Placement

OFP Granted

OFP Denied

Reliefs Granted

OFP Filed

Supervised Exchange/Visitation

Files for Divorce

Family Court Hearing

Final Divorce Hearing

Custody Evaluation

Interviews by Evaluator

Custody Awarded

Child Support Established

Custody Hearing

Temporary Custody

Praxis – Rural Technical Assistance on Violence Against Women

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Engaging with Culture Being aware of one’s

biases, prejudices and knowledge about a victim. For example, Challenge your assumptions. Take into consider implicit

bias Use appropriate language. Be aware of assumptions of

family.

Recognizing professional power and avoiding the imposition of those values. For example, Use non-judgmental questions

Listen to the person. For example, Let them narrate their story. Do not assume people have

resources.

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Engaging with Culture Gathering information

about the person’s interpretation of their culture. For example in assessment: “what is it like for you

to talk about this problem in your community?”

Validating the person’s strengths. For example in intervention: thank them for sharing and

acknowledge existing support systems and efforts to keep safe.

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Engaging with Culture: Insuring safety and self-

determination. For example, Take into account culturally

specific needs.

Developing linkages with the community. For example, Give culturally appropriate

referrals. Work with community based

agencies.

Negotiating the acceptance of a different set of values. For example, Remember, it takes time for

people to accept new systems and ideas.

Patience is the key.

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“World Travelling1” method of Engaging with Culture Culturally challenging practices require a vision of

independence and connectedness: understanding oneself in one’s own historical context with an

emphasis on the overlaps, influences, and conditions one observes in the other.

Understand one’s historical relationship to the other - see the self as the other sees you

must see the other in their own context. Arrogant perception creates distance between oneself and “the

Other”. 1Gunning, Isabella. 1992. “Female Genital Surgeries,” Columbia Human Rights Law Review 23(2):189-248.

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Creating Compassionate Communities Change is frightening Understanding is not compassion Challenge is integral to identity Reactions to threat against identity

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Creating Compassionate Communities Principle of Compassion - justice, equity and

respect In Both public and private life Restore compassion at the center of morality Establish cultures of compassion locally and

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Creating Compassionate Communities Shift our consciousness Challenge truths that guide us Resiliency is the norm Be present totally and fully

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Reminder “Our struggle is for a fundamental change in social

relationships rather than for a per community quota of representations in the parliament of “race” and “ethnicities.” We are engaged in politics, linking theories with practices, examining ideologies through our lives, and our lives through revolutionary ideas. We are not shopping in the market of cultural differences”. Bannerji, Himani. 1993. “Returning the Gaze:An Introduction,” in Returning the Gaze.

Toronto: Sister Vision, p.xxix

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Reminder

“A problem cannot be solved in the consciousness that created it..”

Einstein

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Open…….

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In conclusion……

“It seems utopian, but the world must recover its capacity for dreaming and in order to start, a new paradigm is required…..”

Cecilia Lopez