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Interpersonal communication in health and social care services is by its nature diverse. As a consequence, achieving good or effective communication whether between service providers and service users, or among those working in a service means taking account of diversity, rather than assuming that every interaction will be the same. This free course, Diversity and difference in communication, explores the ways in which difference and diversity impact on the nature of communication in health and social care services.
After studying this unit you should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of competing perspectives on issues of communication, difference and diversity;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which issues of ethnicity, gender and disability impact on interpersonal communication in care services;
- Apply ideas about communication and difference to everyday interactions in health and social care contexts;
- Analyse the ways in which ideas about difference can both reflect and reproduce inequalities between groups in the context of care services;
- Identify strategies for working with difference and diversity in the context of challenging discrimination in health and social care contexts.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1. Introducing diversity and difference
- 2. ‘Difference’ and communication
- 2.1 A communication ‘problem’?
- 2.2 Analysing communication problems
- 2.3 Ways of understanding ‘difference’
- 2.4 The social construction of ‘difference’
- 2.5 ‘Difference’ and identity
- 2.6 Reflecting on identity
- 2.7 Aspects of identity
- 2.8 ‘Difference’, power and discrimination
- 2.9 Experiencing prejudice and discrimination
- 3. Ethnicity
- 3.1 ‘Race’, ethnicity and communication
- 3.2 ‘Race’
- 3.3 Ethnicity
- 3.4 Describing your ethnicity
- 3.5 Ethnic categories
- 3.6 ‘Racialisation’ and racism
- 3.7 The process of 'racialisation'
- 3.8 The impact of 'racialisation'
- 3.9 Being on the receiving end
- 3.10 Working with difference
- 3.11 Ethnic matching
- 3.12 Services for inter-ethnic communications
- 3.13 Employing interpreters and link workers in health and social care
- 3.14 Challenging racism
- 3.15 Exploring anti-oppressive practice
- 4. Gender
- 4.1 Thinking about gender
- 4.2 Talking about gender
- 4.3 Reflecting on gender and identity
- 4.4 Where does gender come from?
- 4.5 Gender and power
- 4.6 Gender and power in the workplace
- 4.7 Gender and power in helping relationships
- 4.8 Gender and difference
- 4.9 The revival of gender essentialism
- 4.10 Men and women communicating differently?
- 4.11 Critiquing gender essentialism
- 4.12 The implications of gender differences in communication
- 4.13 Gender and parenting
- 4.14 Changing fatherhood identities
- 5. Disability
- 6. Conclusion
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
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Diversity and difference in communication
Interpersonal communication in health and social care services is by its nature diverse. As a consequence, achieving good or effective communication – whether between service providers and service users, or among those working in a service – means taking account of diversity, rather than assuming that every interaction will be the same. This course explores the ways in which difference and diversity impact on the nature of communication in health and social care services.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Social Work courses or view the range of currently available OU Social Work courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 21st June 2011
Last updated on: Friday, 12th October 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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