SOCIAL SERVICES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: Challenging Oppression: Personal and Political Dynamics in Social Work

By Carniol, Ben | CCPA Monitor, July/August 2005 | Go to article overview

SOCIAL SERVICES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: Challenging Oppression: Personal and Political Dynamics in Social Work


Carniol, Ben, CCPA Monitor


Why would any sane person choose social work as a career, when most social services are in shambles today? For years, Canada's most powerful corporations have banded together to pressure governments to lower taxes, and their wishes have been granted. As a result, tax cuts have done their dirty work by diverting huge sums of money away from the public sector and pumping them into private (mostly rich) pockets. The cumulative shortages of public funds have had a devastating impact on the public sector.

Major cuts to public services, and more specifically cuts to school boards, to public health care, and to social services are severely undermining the quality of government-funded programs at a time when the rates of hunger and homelessness are rising in Canada. Not surprisingly, in many cases those who are delivering social services today are experiencing burn-out in the trenches of besieged social agencies that are expected to do more with less.

The fact that social work's delivery of material and emotional support has historically been devalued as "women's work" may partly explain why social work, as the major profession delivering social services, is still easily marginalized as an "expendable frill." Challenging male domination, the women's movement and its feminist insights, such as "the personal is political" have had a profound impact on social work. For example, in the past few decades, feminists have created shelters and transition homes where women help women and children fleeing male violence. These new social services are offering alternatives to the hierarchical power-over models still prevalent in the delivery of most social services.

Further challenges to inadequate social services have emerged from equity activists who are organizing resistance against a diversity of oppressive social relations. Colonialism, racism, patriarchal capitalism, heterosexism, ageism, and ableism are being challenged for aggravating and, in many cases, causing social problems. Predictably, the reactions of those who profit or otherwise benefit from these various forms of oppression have been reactionary. They have mobilized their illegitimate power into a backlash to silence equity activists. In response, equity activists are fighting back. They are blowing the whistle against dominant power holders for amassing illegitimate privileges at the expense of disadvantaged populations. These conflicts have spilled over into ideological battles about the methods of delivering social programs. Consequently, many social service providers are experiencing their social agencies as contested terrain.

One of my mentors, First Nations Elder Waubauno Kwe (Barbara Riley), uses an Aboriginal Medicine Wheel in her social service work. She explores the emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of pain and healing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

SOCIAL SERVICES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: Challenging Oppression: Personal and Political Dynamics in Social Work
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.