La competencia intercultural en el ámbito de los servicios sociales comunitarios

  1. Manuela Angela Fernández Borrero
Supervised by:
  1. Octavio Vázquez Aguado Director

Defence university: Universidad de Huelva

Year of defence: 2015

  1. José Luis Sarasola Chair
  2. Estrella Gualda Secretary
  3. Jorge Manuel Leitão Ferreira Committee member

Type: Thesis


Contemporary societies are culturally diverse, mainly due to migration processes. This reality must be addressed under intercultural paradigm, overcoming assimilationist and ethnocentric vision, which demands that public services, and their professionals, are able to offer effective and appropriate responses to the needs arising from this cultural diversity. This study focuses on the social services community, crucial for many foreign people in their social integration process, and a field not studied in this sense, against the health or education where the issue of interculturalism has been more studied. The dissertation is done by compendium of publications, with three papers, with a first paper about good intercultural practices in services and social intervention projects in Andalusia, and two papers related with the project �Analysis of the Training Needs in Andalusian Social Services in Relation to the Management of Diversity�. The main aim has been to determine the level of intercultural competence of professionals in these services, after a first approximation at the institutional level for the evaluation of projects and services under the logic of Good Intercultural Practice, and continuing with research in interculturality initiated by the research team. As secondary objectives, we have tried to know the levels of intercultural sensitivity, aspects of intervention, skills related to intercultural competence and answers to practical cases. Another aim has been to discover the associations between variables and the existence of differences based on personal and professional issues. Participants include 139 projects using sampling for accessibility, and 298 professionals of the basic equipments of the Andalusian community social services, using stratified sampling with proportional affixation according to jobs. The instruments have been questionnaires composed of scales. There have been analysis of contingency, associations, correlations and mean comparisons (t-test and ANOVA). The results have been shown a high intercultural competence and sensitivity of professionals, emphasizing respect for differences, involvement, knowledge and intercultural skills. In aspects of intervention positively stand out the management skills of the diversity and negatively not be aware of their own biases and prejudices. These adequate levels of competence are not associated with respond adequately to the assumptions. On the other hand, specific diversity training and contact with people different cultural backgrounds, are differentiating variables affect intercultural sensitivity and intervention aspects, and intercultural competence for social workers. At the level of projects, have been relevant issues such as the need to consider the socio-political and ethical issues from an intercultural approach. For this reason, the proposals are aimed at promoting specific training in diversity management and cross-cultural professional development. There is this training in the workplace, and also into the university degrees of these professions. The development of spaces for meeting and contact-building is also recommended. This study has opened the door to future research and the continuity of the study of intercultural competence in other fields, and the qualitative approach of the aspects studied, so we have started the work of in-depth interviews, with a logic compared between different European countries.