This paper is a critical discourse analysis of the usage of the concept of "culture" in social work discourse. The paper argues that "culture" is inscribed as a marker for difference which has largely replaced the categories of race and ethnicity as the preferred trope of minority status. "Culture" is conceived as an objectifiable body of knowledge constituting the legitimate foundationfor the building of interventions. But such interventions cannot be considered other than an instrument which reinforces the subjugating paradigm from which it is fashioned. The concept of culture, constructed from within an orthodoxic, hegemonic discursive paradigm, is deployed as a marker of deficit.