Convergence of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender: Multiple Identities in Counseling, The (2nd Edition)

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9780131186101: Convergence of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender: Multiple Identities in Counseling, The (2nd Edition)

For courses in Multicultural Counseling and Cross-Cultural Psychology. This text presents diversity from a much broader perspective than just race and ethnicity, exploring a broad spectrum of cultural and diversity issues and their impact upon the client-counselor relationship. The author, herself an African-American, examines the dominant cultural beliefs and values in the United States, and discusses how their nearly wholesale acceptance as "normal" and "better" can perpetuate feelings of inadequacy, shame, confusion, and distrust on both sides of the counseling "couch." Embracing feminist and diversity theories, methods, and techniques, while injecting humor and fascinating stories, she has created a genuinely insightful and thoroughly practical volume.

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From the Back Cover:

This text presents diversity from a much broader perspective than just race and ethnicity, exploring a broad spectrum of cultural and diversity issues and their impact on the client—counselor relationship. The author, herself an African American, examines the dominant cultural beliefs and values in the United States and discusses how their nearly wholesale acceptance as "normal" and "better" can perpetuate feelings of inadequacy, shame, confusion, and distrust on both sides of the counseling "couch." Embracing feminist and diversity theories, methods, and techniques, while injecting humor and fascinating stories, Robinson-Wood has created a genuinely insightful and thoroughly practical volume.


Praise for The Convergence of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender :

 

“This book gives my students the foundational material to engage them in classroom work. It covers a broad overview of multicultural concepts and includes issues of gender, class, sexual orientation, and ability.  These are key areas overlooked by most multicultural counseling resources and essential to address CACREP standards.  Since adding this book [to my course] my students consistently mention how they enjoy this text.”

          Marty Jencius, Kent State University 

 

“The case studies make the text rich and effectively illustrate the various concepts, populations, and techniques.”

          Jill C. Jurgens, Old Dominion University

 

“I appreciate the social constructivist point of view, as well as the general models such as dominant versus non-dominant, Arredondo’s model, and the developmental models.”

          Lisa Hawley, Oakland University

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.
Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

In 1989, as a new Assistant Professor, I started talking about convergence. What I meant by convergence was the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and other primary identity constructs within the context of counseling. Each of these constructs is critical to a person's emotional and psychological development and each intersects with other human dimensions. Recently, these intersecting identities have been receiving greater attention in the multicultural counseling literature. Prior to this, much of the literature focused on individual aspects of identity (most often race, culture, or ethnicity) and their subsequent influences on a cross-cultural counseling event in which the client was a person of color and the counselor was not. A consideration of how multiple identities, visible and invisible, converge simultaneously and affect development, behavior, and the counseling event itself was missing.

This new paradigm for imaging differences, both visible and invisible, allows each of us to engage in the unrelenting process of increasing self-awareness as gendered, cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual, and cultural beings influenced by class, ability, and disability That differences exist is not refuted nor regarded as problematic. The inequity promoted and perpetuated within a society in which immutable human characteristics hold rank is the problem.

Multicultural counseling emphasizes an ecological framework in which person-environment interaction, culture, ethnicity, family, collective society, history, and spirituality are regarded as fundamental to understanding the client in therapy. Multicultural counseling also recognizes the way in which dominant cultural beliefs and values furnish and perpetuate feelings of inadequacy, shame, confusion, and distrust for clients in both the counseling process and the larger society

The overall goal of this work is to engage in a dialectical, "both/and" discussion about how identity constructs operate conjointly in people's lives to affect personal development and problem presentation in counseling. The response to the first edition from colleagues and students has been inspiring and humbling. This second edition offers an updated format with new chapters, case studies, and storytellings. New and existing theories and research are discussed, and greater attention is devoted to the application of clinical practice. In a spirit of Umoja (unity) and Ujima (collective work and responsibility), 1 acknowledge and celebrate the good work that elders, colleagues, and students have done and continue to do in multicultural counseling.

A MESSAGE TO STUDENTS

The material presented in this book can provoke dissonance. Students often feel fatigued, guilty, and put off by their new feelings and the voices of others that they have never truly heard before, both within the book and within the context of the course where this book is used. Once the course is finished and you have your grade, it is easy to retreat to more comfortable pre-cross-cultural class experiences. However, if you are to become a multiculturally competent counselor, your thoughts, actions, behaviors, and beliefs about yourself and others need to "bear the intimacy of scrutiny and to flourish within it." The process of transformation moves you toward strategies and solutions to change the social structure and become an advocate and change agent for the long haul.

I welcome you to this exploration. Please read the storytellings and case studies, and listen to other people's stories, and mine, and your own as well. Although growth cannot happen without disequilibrium, know that you are being prepared to better appreciate the multiple layers and contexts that both you and your clients will bring to the counseling event. Your enhanced sense of self will assist you in knowing your clients from their unique frame of reference. This in turn will help you find the questions to ask and avoid those that should not be asked. As you process your own feelings and endeavor to make sense out of new information, 1 hope that you will have communities of support who listen, nurture, and challenge. t also hope that you can accept that there may be existing individuals and communities who will be unable to receive or support some of the new insights that you will take from this text.

A MESSAGE TO COLLEAGUES

Teaching multicultural counseling is not easy. As students become aware of unearned skin color privilege, history denied and distorted, and their own internalization of and complicity with racism, sexism, and homophobia, there is disillusionment, sadness, and anger—often directed toward the messenger—you. Faculty of color may be perceived as capable or well suited to teach culturally oriented courses only. Despite being well prepared and ready to teach, White professors may be received suspiciously by both students and faculty across race and ethnicity. White students may fear that faculty of color are going to behave punitively or make them feel guilty for being White. Students of color may feel that they have to carefully weigh their words in class lest they offend their White professors and suffer the consequences with an inferior grade. Untenured professors of any race are concerned about student evaluations, which can have positive and negative implications for promotion and tenure review. Senior faculty and department heads need to understand these dynamics and act wisely The politics are fierce and often unspoken, yet they represent the landscape of cross-cultural counseling.

With that said, the course is one where teachers are able to bear witness to students being changed at depth. This is a gift but not without a price. It is important that you take care of yourselves and do the best work that you can. This is after all, a calling. Bearing witness to students' newfound ability to truly listen to other people's voices and coexist with different ways of being in the world allows us teachers to contribute to healing and justice. At the same time, some students will receive excellent grades yet will not be significantly altered by their experience. Be prepared to read and hear racist statements from students. However, you must be prepared to hear that which is difficult to receive when you ask students to speak from their own lived experiences. You have to trust that for some of your students, you are nurturing growth and change that you will not see by the semester's end. 1 encourage new faculty who have taken jobs away from home and other communities of support to have a ready list of people on whom to call and confide after a particularly difficult class that leaves you feeling drained and seriously questioning your decision making that led you to this place you now call home.

OUTLINE OF CHAPTERS

The text is divided into four parts: Imaging Diversity, Valued Cultures, Converging Identities, and Reimaging Counseling. Every chapter has at least one "Storytelling" feature to honor the powerful oral tradition of storytelling that is alive in the world's cultures. To encourage the integration and application of the material, a case study is presented in each chapter.

In the first edition, individual chapters were not devoted to the four primary groups of color in the United States: Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, Latinos, people of Asian descent, and people of African descent. The rationale for not dedicating a chapter to each group of color was to avoid the presentation of the self as so discrete from other people and ecological contexts. However, some of the professors who used the first edition indicated that separate chapters make more pedagogical sense. In this second edition, a separate chapter is devoted to each of these four groups. The reality of bicultural, biracial, and multiracial people as the fastest growing demographic in the United States is recognized as well throughout the book.

PART ONE: IMAGING DIVERSITY. Chapter 1, Multiple Identities: Defined, provides an overview of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, socioeconomic class, and religion and faith. The importance of counselors' awareness of their attitudes about sources of differences is emphasized. A dominant value structure within the United States that is touted as normal and superior to the exclusion of all others is examined. Dominant cultural values are discussed as a way to orient the reader to core values that are invisible, even to those of us born and reared in the United States.

Chapter 2, Multicultural Competencies and Skills, focuses on the knowledge, attitudes, and skills, both verbal and nonverbal, that are essential for the effective counselor to possess. Competencies are discussed in depth. Information is provided on the integration of competencies in various counseling settings, which includes the ability of the counselor to refer clients when the client's problems exceed the counselor's professional training and skills. Finally, ethical considerations are discussed within a multicultural context.

In Chapter 3, Statused Identities, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, ability, disability, and class as sources of differences and status characteristics are explored. Race and gender are presented as primary status traits and an explanation is given for this perspective.

PART TWO: VALUED CULTURES. Chapter 4 focuses on Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. Chapter 5 explores Latinos. Chapter 6 focuses on people of African descent. Chapter 7 is dedicated to people of Asian descent, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. A succinct overview of demographic characteristics, historical information, migratory pattern...

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