By Lena Dominelli
This booklet, by way of one of many major theorists of social paintings, tackles an issue of the most important value to scholars and practitioners alike: how social staff can permit their consumers to problem and go beyond the manifold oppressions that disempower them (whether via poverty, incapacity, psychological disease, etc.). It strikes from a dialogue of social work's objective and objectives to an exposition of thought and, from there, to the perform arenas of operating with participants, in teams, inside enterprises, and inside of a much wider social and political context.
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Additional resources for Anti-Oppressive Social Work Theory and Practice
Social workers, like other members of society, negotiate identity in both their personal lives and their working relations and need to consider the impact of both these dimensions in their work with clients. 1 depicts the different layers of context that impact upon the individual client and the practitioner when they work together. Although the context is an all encompassing one, the individual may be aware of the impact of only some of it, or may choose to deliberately focus on only a few of its dimensions, that is, those that seem most relevant in particular circumstances.
These discourses have been crucial to painting single parent women as feminists for wanting to be independent of men, but also as abusers of welfare resources by becoming pregnant and bearing children in order to jump housing queues and become dependent on the charity of others through the benefit system instead of going out to (waged) work. At the same time, this representation of lone mothers has reconfigured them as workers rather than mothers. This construction of their situation has drawn on New Right ideological antipathy to feminism and women who have used the welfare state to secure their independence from men (see Gilder, 1981) and on the expressed desire of many lone mothers to work if childcare provisions would enable them to do so.
In this chapter, I explore how oppression constructs particular kinds of identities that are consistent with keeping people in their place. I also consider how people challenge these constructions of themselves to establish new identities more in keeping with their own visions of who they are or should be. Identity as a central feature of oppression In a dichotomous view of the world, identity, that is, what one is, becomes juxtaposed against what one is not. Moreover, in this schema, identity is considered fixed and unchanging (see Jenkins, 1996).