speciale forside.docx
  • Regitze Hassing
4. semester, Psykologi, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
In the thesis I argue that area of working with minority families as a general phenomenon is overlooked in the profession of psychology in Denmark - in research as well as theory and practice. This is problematic considering the fact that most professional psychologists at some point in their career have to work with ethnic minorities and thereby face the potential challenges and dilemmas that intercultural cooperation might cause. In this thesis I shed light on this particular issue by empirically investigating Danish PPR-psychologists’ way of cooperating with ethnic minority families in their daily job, more specifically with focus on families from Somalia.
The purpose of this is twofold. First of all I wish to gain an understanding of how PPR-psychologists experience working with Somalia families. This helps me establish a foundation, that allows me to identify and understand the dilemmas and challenges that might appear in this process, which seems a necessary step considering the lack of theoretical findings. I also wish to gain a deeper understanding of how the psychologists handle the cooperation with these families, set in connection with the phenomenon of intercultural competence, in order to establish an understanding of what conditions might be important for being able to work efficiently and appropriately with this group.
I investigate these issues in a multiple case study, using two different methodological strategies and 3 PPR- psychologists representing 3 different cases. Each case is analyzed and discussed separately in three chapters followed by a final chapter, where the cases are analyzed and discussed in comparison. All analyzes are organized according to the twofold purpose of the thesis. I illustrate their experiences by an inductive thematic analysis, whereas the investigation of intercultural competence is illustrated by a theory-testing strategy.
Regarding the experience of working with Somalia families I have been able to identify four common issues in between the three psychologists. First of all it is a common experience that due to cultural differences, a dichotomy between Somalis and Danes as representative of two groups with different norms and values exists. Secondly the psychologist experience being met with a fundamental mistrust from the Somali families, which shows itself in different behavioral strategies that can make the cooperation process difficult. Thirdly it is a common experience that the process of building productive relationships with these families resembles requires the professional to be positive in focus and clear in communication but also to regard culturally specific aspects such as nonverbal communication and try to speak to emotions rather than to reason. Furthermore the psychologists have all experienced the benefits of focusing on levels on resemblance rather than difference. Finally it is a common experience for the three psychologists that it s a long and difficult process of recognition for Somali families to accept having a child, that deviates from the norm physically or mentally. These findings indicate a number of dilemmas, where the psychologist must find an appropriate balance in order to work efficiently with the families. These dilemmas are finally summarized in a table.
Through the analysis it becomes clear that the way of handling the cooperation with these families as well as the intercultural competence differs between the three psychologists. The empirical findings suggest that the general level of intercultural competence is satisfactory, but due to certain weaknesses found in threes psychologists competence it is my assessment that the psychology as a profession need to focus more on cultural-related issues. I can finally conclude that both practical experience and (theoretical) cultural knowledge as well as reflection about one’s own learning process gives the potential for being intercultural competent, but does not in itself ensure it. In other words intercultural competence is a multifaceted competence, which is not easily captured.
Udgivelsesdatojul. 2010
Antal sider80
Udgivende institutionAalborg University
ID: 33969203