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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Intersubjectivity, Language, and Culture: Bridging the Person/Environment Gap?

Author: Saari,-Carolyn
Author Background:
Date 3/1/99
Type Journal
Journal Title: Smith-College-Studies-in-Social-Work
Volume/Pages 1999, 69, 2, Mar, 221-237
Subject Matter Human Behavior
Abstract Argues that the intersubjective sharing of external experiences is not only a basis for the acquisition of language, but is also the means by which a child learns how to participate in the creation & modification of cultural information within the individual s immediate environment. The inability to participate in human interactions involving cultural information is seen as an aspect of severe mental illness, & a case is presented to illustrate this inability. It is proposed that, because the external world, as both context & culture, is invariably a part of intersubjectively shared experiences, it may be possible for clinical social workers to use contact with the environment in a more consciously planned manner when working with a wide range of clients, but particularly those with severe or chronic mental illnesses. 31 References. Adapted from the source document