1 Response to Addressing personal choice as a barrier to cultural competency.

  1. Stephanie D. says:

    The best analogy I’ve heard for this is the birdcage analogy. Social structures and systems act like a bird cage around lower income and predominantly minority communities. Structures that mean urban schools get less funding than their suburban counterparts, systems that ensure the only jobs left in those same neighborhoods are those in service (and therefore minimum wage). The door is open, but it’s a very small door, and a bird in the cage will have to work harder to reach a plate of birdseed placed outside the cage than would a bird already outside. Personal choice is often outweighed by the need to provide for your family in an economy where even two minimum wage jobs barely covers expenses. How does one “make the choice” to go to school or pay the heating bill? How does one choose between anything when their entire focus is bent on survival?

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