Harnessing the positive power of language

Margaret A. Waller, Christina Risley-Curtiss, Sharon Murphy, Anne Medill, Gloria Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Reflecting biases that permeate the U.S. culture, professional accounts generally interpret stories of minority women from a deficit perspective. Problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and teenage pregnancy are often presented from an outsider's viewpoint and cast as intrapersonal phenomena independent of historical, political, and cultural context. This article suggests that stories and their implications change significantly depending on whether they are interpreted from a deficit or strengths perspective. Stories of American Indian Women, in their own voices, are discussed as a case example.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-81
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Poverty
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 22 1998


  • American indian
  • Domestic violence
  • Native American
  • Problem-focused
  • Strengths
  • Teenage pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Sociology and Political Science


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