Asian Journal of Human Services
Online ISSN : 2188-059X
Print ISSN : 2186-3350
ISSN-L : 2186-3350
A Study of “Cultural Competence” in Taiwanese Social Work Research
Using Quantitative Content Analysis
Liting CHEN
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2015 Volume 8 Pages 152-161


Since the 1990s, the number of immigrants to Taiwan has increased, and indigenous people have gained political esteem. This social situation, therefore, calls for an awareness of “cultural competence.” Cultural competence means that social workers respect the originality of every culture in a society. The term cultural competence has been used often in social work research in Taiwan. In order to clarify how cultural competence and related phrases have been used, I performed a quantitative content analysis of Taiwanese research. I ran a computer search to reveal the mentions of cultural competence in the research of several fields, including business, education, and social work and calculated the frequencies of how often it was mentioned (study 1). Taking the above results into account, I also ran a computer search to assess how often related phrases were mentioned in social work research (study 2). The results of Study 1 show that cultural competence has been mentioned in the fields of business, education, social work, medicine, social cultures, administration & legal, and psychology. Furthermore, the frequency with which this phrase has been mentioned in business, education, and social work has increased steeply in the last ten years. The results of Study 2 show that the use of related phrases (e.g., “professional,” “family,”“empowerment,” “indigenous,” “citizenship,” “teaching,” “evaluation,” “reflection,” and “system”) has steadily increased in the last ten years. I detect a correlation coefficient between the mentions of these phrases. In addition, there is a correlation significance between “empowerment” and “system” and between “professional,” “evaluation,” and “indigenous.” The above results suggest that the use of cultural competence has certainly spread in the social work fields in the last ten years. The concept of cultural competence may present an opportunity to greatly change social work education and practice.

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© 2015 Asian Society of Human Services
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