Cultural friendliness as a foundation for the support function in the supervision of social work students in South Africa

Engelbrecht, Lambert K. (2006-03)

Please cite as follows:

Engelbrecht, L. K. 2006. Cultural friendliness as a foundation for the support function in the supervision of social work students in South Africa. International Social Work, 49(2):267-276, doi:10.1177/0020872806061240.

The original publication is available at http://www.uk.sagepub.com/journals/Journal200781

Article

On account of South Africa's history of apartheid and divisive legislation, most people in post-apartheid South Africa are not regularly exposed to cultures other than their own, and have not yet become accustomed to the integration of different cultures on a social level. Cultural differences in South Africa are, moreover, primarily equated with differences in race. Although South Africa now has a democratic system of government, there is not yet any widespread mixing of the various South African cultures (black, coloured, Indian and white), since decades of segregation have led to unfamiliarity and distrust. In all probability, the cultural background of social work supervisors in South Africa will differ from that of their social work students, and the cultural background of the social work students will differ from that of the service users - and all these people from different cultures will be totally unfamiliar with one another's cultures. That is why it is of utmost importance that the supervisor of social work students will model a disposition of cultural friendliness to the students.

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