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Developing Cross-Cultural Measurement in Social Work Research and Evaluation$
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Thanh Tran, Tam Nguyen, and Keith Chan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190496470

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190496470.001.0001

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Overview of Culture and Cross-Cultural Research

Overview of Culture and Cross-Cultural Research

(p.1) 1 Overview of Culture and Cross-Cultural Research
Developing Cross-Cultural Measurement in Social Work Research and Evaluation

Thanh V. Tran

Tam Nguyen

Keith Chan

Oxford University Press

Different academic disciplines and schools of thoughts often have different definitions and categorizations of culture. No agreement has ever been reached in defining culture. This chapter discusses the concept of culture and reviews the basic principles of multidisciplinary cross-cultural research. The readers are introduced to cross-cultural research in anthropology, psychology, political science, and sociology. These cross-cultural research fields offer social work both theoretical and methodological resources. The readers will find that all cross-cultural research fields share the same concern—that is, the equivalence of research instruments. One cannot draw meaningful comparisons of behavioral problems, social values, or psychological status between or across different cultural groups in the absence of cross-culturally equivalent research instruments. Although this book emphasizes the importance of measurement equivalence in cross-cultural social work research and evaluation, the issues of cultural sensitivity and cultural appropriateness are the foundation of all types of social work research and interventions.

Keywords:   culture, cultural rights, cross-cultures, cultural typology, cross-cultural social work, cultural competency

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