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SOCIOLOGY - A New Perspective Every person is like all persons like some persons and like no other persons Speight 32 I believe every one of us to be unique in one respect or another and for counselors to maximize their potential they must see the differences as well as the similairities Stemming from a cultural backround these values can be seen Culture plays a huge role in counseling but how culture is defined has been a problem Back in the 50s two anthropologists counted the definitions of culture used in the social sciences and they came up with more than 160 distinct meanings Griswold 8 Every class book and teacher of mine has defined culture differently These explanations of culture may be sufficient to accomplish the goals of specialized groups of people but they are inadequate in understanding individuals Counseling has emphasized the racial and ethnic differences between people The guidelines that have been established require counselors to learn about the characteristics of each racial and ethnic group understanding what each group values was thought to lead to the interpretation of why they do what they do This approach has led to a cookbook which gives a recipe of what these individuals are perceived to believe Speight 32 Looking at a person this way assumes that all people within a group are the same This view may help understand some concerns but taken alone obviously is inefficient in looking the client as a whole Common sense tells us that conflicts exist within the same ethnic or racial group therefore this approach lacks the ability to go beyond ethnic or racial boundaries Pedersen 7 We are complex people and for any counselor to successfully assist their clients a framework or theory must be introduced I believe every one of us is a collective representation of the many interactions in which we participate Assuming that there are not two people
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