Cultural Consultation

A Definition

Cultural consultation is a multi-level organisational innovation to address the complexity and interaction of multiple critical sources of inequality at individual, team and organisational levels.

Narratives are central to cultural consultation as is ethnography, an anthropological methodology that allows for the collection of multiple narratives through the use of questionnaires, in-depth interviews and observation. It can reveal deeper assumptions, structures and values that underline surface narratives.

CCS understands culture as a:

“…complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law and custom and other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”¹.

Culture is further understood as “a set of guidelines (explicit and implicit) which individuals inherit as members of a particular society which tells them how to view the world, how to experience it emotionally, and how to behave in relation to other people, to supernatural forces or gods and to the natural environment”².

CCS works on the premise that culture is not a fixed identity; it is flexible and an ongoing process that responds to a group or an individual’s experiences. In addition, culture can mediate and moderate the effects of outside experiences as well as the expression of internal genetic processes.

While working with this complex understanding of culture, our approach also accommodates and remains aware of the role of intersectional inequalities, or the variance between different social or cultural groups.

References:

¹ Tylor, E.B. (1871) Primitive Culture: Research into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art and Customs. London: John Murray

² Helman, C. (1990) Culture, Health and Illness (2nd Edition) London: Butterworth Heinemann

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