Discussion: Group Dynamics–Intragroup, Dominant Group, and Marginalization
Members of dominant ethnic and racial groups may assume that other groups’ struggles are not their own or assume that those of a given race speak with one voice and react in the same way to their oppression. In reality, people can cope with racial inequalities in a variety of ways, creating complex relationships both between the dominant and oppressed group and among members of the dominant and oppressed groups.
As a social worker, you must understand the many ways in which racial privilege can impact your clients. You must also understand the ways in which racial privilege has impacted your life and the ways you react to the realities of racism. You will likely need to help clients address racial divides and combat racial inequality to empower them.
To prepare: Review “Working With Immigrants and Refugees: The Case of Aaron.”
By Day 3
Post an explanation of how dominant groups can play a role in marginalizing other groups based on racial and ethnic characteristics. Discuss the potential negative impact of a dominant culture on immigrants and refugees, such as Aaron. How might racism and prejudice impact his assimilation? Furthermore, explain how you would respond to Aaron when he discusses his family’s rejection of his desire to maintain his cultural roots. In your explanation, identify specific skills you would employ as a multiculturally sensitive social worker.
Assignment: Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice
Anti-oppressive social work means critically reflecting on your own cultural identities and how the social environment impacts these identities. Acknowledging power and privilege can be uncomfortable; however, with values of multiculturalism and social justice, social workers are committed to engaging in their own personal work and addressing social barriers clients may experience. Social workers view clients from a strengths-based perspective utilizing client strengths to support their goals, rather than pathologizing clients from the lens of the dominant culture.
For the past six weeks, you have learned about the social construction of social identities, structural inequality based on dominant and non-dominant groups, and oppressions based on sex, class, and race. While readings have continuously pointed out white privilege as the dominant group privilege, you also know that privilege is not equally distributed in groups. Intersecting identities creates unique experiences for clients. For this assignment, you draw from what you have been learning during the first part of this course and discuss strategies for anti-oppressive social work practice.
By Day 7
Submit a 2- to 3-page APA formatted paper in which you:
Explain the potential impact of white privilege on clients from both dominant and minority groups (consider impact of both positive and negative stereotypes).
Explain how intersecting identities might impact an individual’s experience (for example, race/ethnicity and gender, race/ethnicity and class, race/ethnicity and ability, race/ethnicity and sexual orientation, race/ethnicity and class).
Providing specific examples, explain how a social worker might utilize cultural strengths when working with clients.
Describe 2-3 social work skills and how a social worker might use them to engage in anti-oppressive work.
Support ideas in paper with at least 2-3 course resources (please reference specific chapters, not the entire textbook) and at least one additional peer-reviewed article from the Walden library (not assigned in this course) to support your ideas.
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Catalano, D. C. J., DeJong, K., Hackman, H. W,… Zuniga, X. (Eds.). (2018). Readings for diversity and social justice (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Press.
Chapter 11, This land (pp. 82-87)
Chapter 21, A letter to my son (pp. 132-138)
Chapter 22, My class didn’t trump my race: Using oppression to face privilege (pp. 138- 146)
Chapter 23, Women, race, and racism: A dialogue in black and white (pp. 147-153)
Chapter 25, The personal is political (pp. 157-161)
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
“Working With Immigrants and Refugees: The Case of Aaron”
Bent-Goodley, T., Snell, C. L., & Carlton-LaNey, I. (2017). Black perspectives and social work practice. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 27(1-2), 27-35.
Johnston-Goodstar, K. (2013). Indigenous youth participatory action research: Re-visioning social justice for social work with indigenous youths. Social Work, 58(4), 314-320.
Joo, N., Reeves, R. V., & Rodrigue, E. (2016). Asian-American success and the pitfalls of generalization. The Brookings Institute. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2016/04/20/asian-american-success-and-the-pitfalls-of-generalization/
Mattsson, T. (2014). Intersectionality as a useful tool: Anti-oppressive social work and critical reflection. Affilia, 29(1), 8-17.