The Cultural Mediator: Bridging the Gap Between a Non-Western Community and Professional Social Work Practice Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper analyses a demonstration project that enabled social workers to practise effectively in their home community (a Bedouin-Arab city in the Negev, Israel) where gender relations are patriarchal and the interface of social work and cultural practices had previously impeded professional functioning. Collaborative work with cultural mediators, individuals with high social status and knowledge of community traditions, rendered interventions more culturally appropriate, bridged gaps between the cultural and professional canons, and promoted social work's role in a society that had a limited understanding of, and experience with, the profession. Future social work practice and research could focus on further enhancing women's choice making opportunities in this patriarchal culture.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001