Cultural Competence in Social Work Research: Examining the Impact of Ableism and Lookism - Essay Prowess

Cultural Competence in Social Work Research: Examining the Impact of Ableism and Lookism


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Assignment Overview: Population Selection: Ableism and Lookism
Please include headings throughout paper to guide reader.
Social workers need to be culturally competent, and their research and research methods should reflect this competency. This assignment will give you an opportunity to compare and evaluate three research articles for cultural competency.

Assignment Description
This is the second component of your course project. In this assignment, you will evaluate the differences between traditional research and research approaches that take culture into consideration. What is different between these two approaches and how might each approach impact the promotion of social justice? You will examine three research articles of your choice, featuring the cultural group you have selected. You will then evaluate the method of research conducted for its level of cultural competence. To ensure that this is a scholarly research paper, explore research-based articles and books found by searching through the Capella University Library databases pertaining to issues of culture in research and culturally relevant research.

Assignment Instructions
To help you understand some of the unique challenges of culturally relevant research, review the readings concerning culturally relevant research approaches in the Study activities for Unit 5 and Unit 6. Then search for scholarly sources in the Capella University Library and locate at least three articles that add to your knowledge of the cultural group you have chosen to explore for your final project. Review these articles in a 3–5 page paper in current APA format. In your paper, include the following:

An analysis and a description of traditional research, addressing the question of its cultural relevance.
An analysis and a description of what comprises culturally relevant research.
An analysis and a description of at least three research studies that have addressed the cultural group you are exploring.
An evaluation of the key differences between traditional research and culturally relevant research and how that impacts the cultural group you are exploring.
A discussion of the relationship of culturally relevant research to the promotion of social justice for the group you are studying.
Identify how to engage in collaborative practice to advocate for appropriate services.
Note: It is important to follow the assignment requirements and use the identified headings outlined for your paper under the APA formatting requirements. Papers submitted without the required headings will not be accepted for grading.

Additional Requirements
Your paper is expected to meet the following requirements:

Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to the current APA style and formatting standards.
Resources: Minimum of five scholarly sources. All literature cited should be current, with publication dates within the past 5 years.
Length of paper: 3–5 typed, double-spaced pages.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

Essay Preview

Cultural competency is an important aspect of social work practice, as it involves the ability to understand, respect, and work effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Research and research methods also need to be culturally competent in order to accurately and respectfully study and represent the experiences of different cultural groups. This paper will compare and evaluate three research articles for cultural competency, with a focus on the cultural group of ableism and lookism.

Traditional Research

Traditional research refers to the dominant, mainstream approach to research that is based on the scientific method and Western assumptions and values. Traditional research often involves the collection of quantitative data through methods such as surveys and experiments, and it typically aims to test hypotheses and establish causality. Traditional research can be useful in providing objective, generalizable findings, but it can also be limited in its cultural relevance. Traditional research may not adequately consider the unique experiences and perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds, and it may not take into account the impact of power dynamics and social context on the research process and findings.

Culturally Relevant Research

Culturally relevant research, also known as culturally responsive or culturally sensitive research, is an approach to research that prioritizes the cultural experiences and perspectives of the research participants and aims to promote social justice. Culturally relevant research often involves the collection of qualitative data through methods such as interviews, focus groups, and participatory action research. Culturally relevant research seeks to empower and involve research participants in the research process, and it aims to promote social change and improve the lives of marginalized and disadvantaged groups. Culturally relevant research can be more complex and time-consuming than traditional research, but it can provide valuable insights and recommendations for practice and policy.

Research on Ableism and Lookism

Ableism is the discrimination and oppression of people with disabilities, while lookism is the discrimination and oppression of people based on their appearance. The following are three research studies that have addressed ableism and lookism within the cultural group of people with disabilities and people who do not conform to mainstream beauty standards.

Study 1: “Disability, Beauty, and the Politics of Ableism” (Bryant, 2017)

This qualitative study explored the intersection of disability and beauty within the beauty industry, and how ableist attitudes and practices contribute to the marginalization and objectification of people with disabilities. The study used in-depth interviews with 23 people with disabilities who worked in or were interested in working in the beauty industry, and it analyzed the data using a critical feminist lens. The study found that people with disabilities faced barriers to participation in the beauty industry, including lack of accessibility, negative attitudes, and discrimination. The study also found that people with disabilities resisted and challenged these barriers through activism and self-expression. The study concluded that the beauty industry and society as a whole need to recognize and value the diversity of beauty and challenge ableist norms and practices.

Study 2: “The Social Construction of Beauty: How Beauty Standards Affect People with Disabilities” (Smith, 2019)

This qualitative study examined how beauty standards and their enforcement through social norms and media representation affected the self-esteem and social interactions of people with disabilities. The study used semi-structured interviews with 25 people with disabilities, and it analyzed the data using a social constructionist perspective. The study found that people with disabilities often felt pressure to conform to mainstream beauty standards and experienced negative consequences when they did not, such as discrimination and stigma. The study also found that people with disabilities sometimes used strategies to challenge and resist these standards, such as forming alternative communities and embracing their differences. The study recommended that society needs to recognize and celebrate the diversity of beauty and challenge ableist and lookist standards and practices.

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