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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Harnessing the positive power of language: American Indian women, a case example.

Author: Waller, M.A; Risley, Curtiss C; Murphy, S; Medill, A; Moore, G.
Author Background:
Date 1/1/98
Type Journal
Journal Title: Journal-of-Poverty
Volume/Pages 2(4) p. 63-81
Subject Matter Native Americans
Abstract Reflecting biases that permeate the U.S. culture, professional accounts generally interpret stories of minority women from a deficit perspective. Problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and teenage pregnancyare often presented from an outsider s viewpoint and cast as intrapersonal phenomena independent of historical, political, and cultural context. This article suggests that stories and their implications change significantly depending onwhether they are interpreted from a deficit or strengths perspective. Stories of American Indian women, in their own voices, are discussed as a case example. (There are four additional articles in this special issue on inequality in AmericanIndian communities.).