Rethinking cultural safety while waiting to do fieldwork: Methodological implications for nursing research*


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    Author Joan Anderson acknowledges the contributions of Dr. David Allen of the School of Nursing, University of Washington, for introducing her to the concept of cultural safety as a unifying concept for the work of the research team. All the authors thank Savitri Makkanji and Amy Pang for their careful reading and commenting on an earlier version of this manuscript.

    Authors are listed alphabetically after the first three leading authors.


The concept of culture has been widely applied as an explanatory concept within health care, often within a framework representing culture as a fixed, reified entity, with cultural groups existing in a binary sense vis-´-vis mainstream culture. However, if our scholarship is to generate knowledge that addresses longstanding patterns of inclusion and exclusion along lines such as race, ethnicity, class, and gender, interpretive frames are needed that account for culture as embedded in fields of power relations; as mediated by social forces such as economics, politics, and historical patterns of oppression and colonization; and as being constantly renegotiated. In this article we trace a series of theoretical explorations, centered on the concept of cultural safety, with corresponding methodological implications, engaged in during preparation for an intensive period of fieldwork to study the hospitalization and help-seeking experiences of diverse ethnocultural populations. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 25:222–232, 2002