Cultural Competency and Well Being in the Global Gathering Place
Cultural competency is increasingly embraced in the provision of social and health services to newcomers to Canada. Cultural competency is a fluid process along a continuum which is present at any organization or institution which provides services to clientele with diverse backgrounds. This thesis presents the results of a three-month ethnographic project conducted in partnership with the Global Gathering Place (GGP) in Saskatoon. This research found that having access to services that accommodate newcomers’ unique cultural backgrounds enhances well being and facilitates adjustment to a new home. This is largely accomplished through developing networks, minimizing isolation, and encouraging connections between newcomers and their community. This research was conducted from the theoretical standpoint of the anthropology of the good, which seeks to examine positivity and emerged as a resistance to dark anthropology, or a focus on suffering and the harsh dimensions of life. Well being is facilitated through several factors such as interpersonal connection, spirituality, and the ability to live “the good life.” The good life is a concept intertwined with well being and one cannot occur without the other. Though both well being and the good life are subjective notions, participants shared similarities when conceptualizing both. This research finds that the GGP is a highly culturally competent organization and as a result, the clientele of the GGP experience high rates of well being. Further study into the role of cultural competency in newcomer well being is therefore recommended.
cultural competency, well being, immigration, newcomers, the good life, global gathering place
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Archaeology and Anthropology