The sudden arrival of 125,000 Cuban refugees created the need for "acculturation specialists" who could ease the transition of these Hispanic refugees, many of whom suffered from mental disabilities or other stigmas. From the perspective of clinical sociology, acculturation should involve "empowerment " Culture brokers will encounter service dilemmas, factors which contravene the humanistic goal of empowerment of members of a psychiatric population. What course is proper when empowerment of a client might subvert program goals? Should concise information on the welfare system be provided to clients who might use it to abscond and establish another pattern of dependency? Should acculturation be directed toward the American mainstream culture, or toward the growing Hispanic culture? When placing a client in the community, should prospective sponsors be informed of every psychosocial problem a client has had, or kept in the dark? What is to be done with the man who has just committed assault and now seems truly sorry? When, if ever, should the collectivity be mobilized to repress undesired behavior?
The acculturation specialty has most of the qualities which distinguish clinical sociology. Emphasis on "empowerment" of clients structures the inevitable jurisdictional conflict with social workers in terms of philosophical opposition or revision of behavior modification.
"Clinical Sociology and the Acculturation Specialty,"
Clinical Sociology Review:
1, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/csr/vol3/iss1/8