Lincoln Memorial University

Cultural Competency Continuum

Cultural Competency is indicated when a set of  behaviors, attitudes, and policies come together congruently in a system, individual, or organization to enable effective engagement in cross-cultural situations and environments.  Where do you or your organization fall on this continuum? 

  • Cultural Destructiveness = Xenophobia, an irrational dislike of someone different from oneself.
  • Cultural Incapacity = Ethnocentrism, the belief that one's own culture and beliefs is superior to all others.
  • Cultural Blindness = The perspective that race or color make no difference.  "I don't see color...everyone is the same."  This perspective, while better than xenophobia and ethnocentrism, devalues an individual's identity and experiences associated with their identity.
  • Cultural Pre-Competence = Awareness of one’s cultural limitations and taking steps to improve.
  • Cultural Competence = Accepting & respecting cultural differences.
  • Cultural Proficiency = Proactively working to effect systemic change.


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