'Culture it's a big term isn't it'? An analysis of child and family health nurses' understandings of culture and intercultural communication

Grant, Julian; Luxford, Yoni
March 2011
Health Sociology Review;Mar2011, Vol. 20 Issue 1, p16
Academic Journal
Understandings of culture and multiculture are broad and deeply embedded in every day talk and practices. In an increasingly globalised world, how we understand and work with these terms affects how parents and their families experience health care services and the support intended by health care professionals. This is particularly important for parents who are new to Australia. In this paper we report on findings from an ethnographic study undertaken across two community child and family health nursing sites in South Australia. Using examples, we explore how child and family health nurses appear to understand and use constructs of culture and multiculture during everyday, intercultural communication with parents who are new to Australia and Australian health services. By analysing these understandings through postcolonial and feminist theories we found pervading evidence that neo-colonial constructs of a white western monoculture shaped intercultural communication practice. We conclude by reflecting on how these constructs might be addressed to improve intercultural communication in child and family health settings.


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