An Investigation of Successful and Unsuccessful Communication between International and North African Social Workers at Centres for Disabled Children in North Africa
Okuyama, Y. (2011). An Investigation of Successful and Unsuccessful Communication between International and North African Social Workers at Centres for Disabled Children in North Africa (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6028
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6028
There is a need to improve the quality of life for disabled children in North Africa. Although local governments and communities have been providing social services support, an increase in social services investment, particularly, specialists who work in the area of providing disability support, is needed from local and international organisations. However, international social workers’ lack of cross cultural sensitivity creates communication barriers and prevents effective means of collaboration between international and local social workers. The main aim of this research is to identify culturally appropriate communication skills and possible pitfalls for international social workers by investigating successful and unsuccessful communication between international and local social workers working at schools and centres for disabled children in North Africa. A constructivist qualitative approach has been used to explore the complex world of lived experiences of the social workers. The stories of four international and three local social workers were gathered through semi structured in-depth interviews. Three main themes emerged as a result of analysis of the interviews: language and religious value, gender relations, shame and honour. The findings have shown that in order for international social workers to communicate culturally appropriately and achieve successful collaboration with local social workers, the international workers need to be aware of the differences in mind-sets between individualistic and collective cultures, and be sensitive to the Arab/ Muslim cultural values of local social workers.
University of Waikato
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