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Families--United States; Education--Social aspects--United States; Social workers


The previous paper has covered a good deal of ground. In the present discussion, taken from the point of view of a social worker, several reactions, ideas, and questions may be raised as a point of departure. One may, in fact, begin with the reference to the idea of subculture and its frequent misuse by social scientists. It seems reasonable that reference to deviant sub-culture often fails to take into account the fact that even deviant behavior may be structured and patterned according to the norms of the so-called majority.

This point has particular meaning in view of the fact that social workers and social scientists have at times had difficulties in communicating because they seem to be dealing with different faces of the empirical world. The social scientist, on the one side, addresses himself most often to modal behavior. The social worker, on the other, deals primarily with exceptional behavior. The observation here offers us a common point of departure, for, whether one is primarily concerned-as is the anthropologist-with patterns of conformance, or-as is the social worker-with patterns of deviation, it seems unquestionably desirable that we have as a common frame of reference some clarity about the generally held expectations of the dominant culture.

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