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Int J Nurs Educ Scholarsh. 2010;7:Article30. doi: 10.2202/1548-923X.2025. Epub 2010 Aug 3.

Pedagogy as influencing nursing students' essentialized understanding of culture.

Author information

1
University of Lethbridge, Canada. david.gregory@uleth.ca

Abstract

In this qualitative study, we explored how students understood "culture." Participants defined culture and wrote narratives regarding specific cultural encounters. The sample comprised both nursing (n=14) and non-nursing (n=8) students to allow for comparison groups. Content analysis of the narratives revealed two broad paradigms of cultural understanding: essentialist and constructivist. Essentialist narratives comprised four themes: determinism (culture defied individual resistance); relativism (the possibility of making value judgments disappeared); Othering (culture was equated to exotica, and emphasized difference); and, reductionism (personhood was eclipsed by culture). In contrast, the constructivist narratives were characterized by influence (non-determinism), dynamism (culture was dynamic and evolutionary); and, relationship-building. The unintended negative consequences of essentialist notions of culture were revealed in the nursing students' narratives. Pedagogy is implicated in nursing students' essentialized understanding of culture.

PMID:
20812912
DOI:
10.2202/1548-923X.2025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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