VIDEO 2: Cultural Competence in Denial and Polarization

University students discuss what their experiences have been with either themselves or with others who have mindsets in Denial and Polarization in a monocultural mindset.

Denial is the first orientation in the IDI continuum and indicates a person is disinterested or avoidant of differences. Individuals in this orientation may avoid those who are different from themselves and view their own cultural values and practices as preferable and may be critical of the cultural values and practices of others. Approximately 2% of people fall within Denial. The best strategy is for them to notice and recognize differences.

Next, Polarization (16%) is the “us vs. them” mindset, where people have a natural tendency to judge differences, and may become Defensive of their own way, identity, or culture; or they fall within Reversal, which is valuing others’ cultures over one’s own, and may report being embarrassed or ashamed of one’s own culture. The best strategy for moving beyond these orientations is to start searching for commonalities among cultural groups.



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Creating Cultural Competence by Jacquelyn Wiersma-Mosley and Margaret Miller Butcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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