Cultural reciprocity in sociocultural perspective: Adapting the normalization principle for family collaboration

Beth Harry, Robert Rueda, Maya Kalyanpur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


The principle of normalization/social role valorization provides a powerful framework for improving the quality of life of individuals with disabilities. However, the principle needs to be adapted to the increasing cultural heterogeneity of the United States. Decisions about the goals of service provision should be informed by two principles: (1) cultural reciprocity, whereby professionals work in a collaborative manner with families, and (2) a sociocultural view of learning and development, which targets social rather than individual processes. Findings from a collaborative action research project with culturally diverse families are used to illustrate how professionals can provide assistance in a family's zone of proximal development, rather than targeting goals that are normative for the mainstream, but not for the family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalExceptional children
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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