Who we are Search Resources Submit a resource Links to sites Discussion Board Contact Us Return to Home
Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Life tasks and Native American perspectives.

Author: Kawulich, B.B; Curlette, W.L.
Author Background:
Date 9/1/98
Type Journal
Journal Title: The-Journal-of-Individual-Psychology.
Volume/Pages 54(3) p. 359-367
Subject Matter Native Americans
Abstract The primary purpose of this article was to examine some differences between Native American and mainstream American cultures from the perspective of Individual Psychology. In particular, the concept of life tasks as a framework isused for comparing Native and mainstream American cultures. The authors initially employed the three life tasks of work, social relations, and intimacy; however, it became apparent that two additional life tasks warrantedconsideration. The life task categories of relating to one s identity (or self) and spirituality appeared to hold direct application to the discussion of differences in Native and mainstream American cultures. Adler named three of these lifetasks explicitly but referred to two others without specifically naming them (Mosak, 1995, p. 54). This article, then, questions whether the three life tasks are sufficient as a framework for discussion of Native American culture(s); that is, do they provide more explanatory power in comparison to parsimony than do the five life tasks? Regarding this question, it should be noted that a recent article by Roberts, Harper, and Eagle Bull (1997) on therelationship of Individual Psychology to Native Americans found the five life tasks relevant to Native American culture. The authors hope that this article will stimulate more discussion about the applicability of the three-versus-five lifetask framework to the Native American culture(s) as well as to other ethnic cultures.