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Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice: Social Justice Social Work

Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice: Social Justice Social Work

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Published by Fernwood Publishing
Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice introduces students to the emerging tradition, the historical and theoretical roots and the specific contexts of anti-oppressive social work practice. Using practice vignettes, personal experience and case work examples to discuss a variety of issues, this updated edition adds a new chapter on the theoretical basis of AOP as well as several practice chapters dealing with issues of child protection, poverty and welfare rights, disability rights, working with unions and standardized assessment procedures.

Praise for the first edition
“This has been a helpful text for examining issues of gender and oppression through an intersectional lens. The book not only introduces ‘anti-oppressive practice’ as a current form of progressive social work, but also provides helpful illustrations on topics such as indigenous pathways to anti-oppressive practice, bridging the practice-activism divide, anti-oppressive practice in child welfare, and restructuring and everyday resistance.”
— Lyn Ferguson, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba

“Now, more than ever, we need to commit ourselves to anti-oppressive, transformative social work practice. Baines’ edited collection helps us to do just this. Well conceptualised, organised and integrated… No matter whether you are a student, frontline practitioner, policy maker or academic, it offers rich insights and inspiration.”
— Heather Fraser, Social Work, Flinders University, South Australia

“I have found student engagement with this book to be outstanding. Students express much appreciation for the book’s contributions to their learning, especially as it is grounded in very practical terms... (it resonates) with their work experiences and/or placements. Overall ... a fine and important collection of writing.”
— Gordon Pon, School of Social Work, Ryerson University
Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice introduces students to the emerging tradition, the historical and theoretical roots and the specific contexts of anti-oppressive social work practice. Using practice vignettes, personal experience and case work examples to discuss a variety of issues, this updated edition adds a new chapter on the theoretical basis of AOP as well as several practice chapters dealing with issues of child protection, poverty and welfare rights, disability rights, working with unions and standardized assessment procedures.

Praise for the first edition
“This has been a helpful text for examining issues of gender and oppression through an intersectional lens. The book not only introduces ‘anti-oppressive practice’ as a current form of progressive social work, but also provides helpful illustrations on topics such as indigenous pathways to anti-oppressive practice, bridging the practice-activism divide, anti-oppressive practice in child welfare, and restructuring and everyday resistance.”
— Lyn Ferguson, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba

“Now, more than ever, we need to commit ourselves to anti-oppressive, transformative social work practice. Baines’ edited collection helps us to do just this. Well conceptualised, organised and integrated… No matter whether you are a student, frontline practitioner, policy maker or academic, it offers rich insights and inspiration.”
— Heather Fraser, Social Work, Flinders University, South Australia

“I have found student engagement with this book to be outstanding. Students express much appreciation for the book’s contributions to their learning, especially as it is grounded in very practical terms... (it resonates) with their work experiences and/or placements. Overall ... a fine and important collection of writing.”
— Gordon Pon, School of Social Work, Ryerson University

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Published by: Fernwood Publishing on Apr 28, 2011
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01/03/2013

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1
chate 1
An veview ofAnti-eive patie
root, heoy, enion
Donna Baines
hi intodution exloe the hitoial oot of anti-o-eive oial wok, the theoy it daw on, and on-ointenion in both theoy and atie. n addition, it diueten oe iniht that have tood the tet of oial jutie o-ial wok atie.A you ead thi intodution, ak youelf the followin:1. What ae the oot of anti-oeive atie (
aop
) andoial jutie aoahe, and how an we daw on theeoot today?2. What ae ome of the a in the hitoial and uentwitin on
aop
and it edeeo? What ae ome ofthe oint of aeement?3. What i the diffeene between moe mainteam a-oahe and
aop
?
 An Indigenous social work student spends her week comforting neighbours trauma-tized by events on the barricade at Caledonia, Ontario. She asks for extensions onher nal papers, wondering whether her professors will see the links between anti-oppressive theory and her involvement in the frontlines of activism.Initially full of enthusiasm, a student doing a placement in a child welfare agency soon becomes disillusioned. She feels that she does little more than ll out forms and complete computerized assessments. She never has time to challenge oppressive  practices, or even think about them. Workers in her agency are sympathetic, but tell her to get used to it because “there’s no room for theory in the real world.”  An anti-oppressive therapist who doesn’t use the title “social worker” is told that she will lose her job at a family counselling centre because she hasn’t registered with the Social Work College. Primarily providing services to very poor women of colour,many of whom are survivors of abuse and torture, she wonders whose needs are being served by the College.
 
Doin Anti-eive patie2
chaity and Band Aid veusoial Jutie and anfomation
e vignettes above describe real-life conicts and tensions that social work students and practitioners experience in everyday frontline practice. Althoughdetails have been changed to protect condentiality, these vignettes are based onreal events and people. ey highlight the complexity of struggles in the worldof social work practice, the need for models that advance social justice at mul-tiple levels, and the kinds of struggles in which social workers nd themselves.Social work is a unique eld in many ways. It contains a number of distinctapproaches and philosophies regarding care, what constitutes care, and how tostop or slow the social problems that generate the need for care. Social work is generally thought to have rst emerged from charitable roots (for example,Carniol 2010; Mullaly 2002; Abramovitz 1988). Employed by groups such asthe Charitable Organizations Society, Victorian-era social workers frequently provided the poor with enthusiastic lectures on morality and hygiene, as wellas infrequent but much-needed food baskets or clothing boxes (Abramovitz1988). ese interventions did little more than place leaky band aids on deeply rooted social problems, failing to challenge systems that exploited the poor andsustained the wealthy (Carniol 2005; Withorn 1984). is tradition continuestoday in social work in the form of interventions aimed at providing a subsist-ence level of support to clients while leaving social systems that generate suchproblems untouched.Fortunately, more social justice-oriented approaches to social work alsoexist. roughout the history of social work, workers, clients, and averagepeople have asked, what are the causes of social problems and, crucially, whatcan we do to address those causes and prevent social problems rather thanmerely treating the victims? ese questions have been central to the develop-ment of a strand of social work emerging from social movements and aimedat fundamentally transforming the political, economic, social, and cultural
Oppression
eion take lae when a eon at o a oliy i enatedunjutly aaint an individual (o ou) beaue of thei affilia-tion to a eifi ou. hi inlude deivin eole of a wayto make a fai livin, to atiiate in all aet of oial life, oto exeiene bai feedom and human iht. t alo inludeimoin belief ytem, value, law, and way of life on otheou thouh eaeful o violent mean. eion an beextenal, a in the examle above, o intenal, when ou tatto believe and at a if the dominant belief ytem, value, and lifeway ae the bet and exluive eality. ntenal oeion ofteninvolve elf-hate, elf-enohi, hame, and the diownin ofindividual and ultual ealitie.

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