This paper studies the problem that health and social care practitioners, intending to satisfy their ethnic minority users' cultural preferences, end up providing services against their wishes. In particular it points out that this problem is caused by over-emphasising two key assumptions of ethnic minority groups. The first assumption is that all members of the same ethnic minority group organise their health and social care according to their cultural principles. The second assumption is that their cultural principles are monolithic. Demonstrating that these two assumptions may not necessarily be applicable to all ethnic minority groups, this paper discusses the diverse strategies used by Chinese people in Britain to organise their health and social care, and the differences between their two important cultural principles, Taoism and Confucianism. In order to demonstrate to professionals and the Government that they should not over-emphasise these two assumptions and that they need to pay attention to ethnic minority groups' diverse needs, the paper suggests that different ethnic minority groups may need to unite to increase their influence in the service provision process. However it also warns that this tactic may lead to the subordination of minority group interests in the articulation of those large groups.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Culturally sensitive practices