Lesbians, Gays, & the Empowerment Perspective

Lesbians, Gays, & the Empowerment Perspective

Lesbians, Gays, & the Empowerment Perspective

Lesbians, Gays, & the Empowerment Perspective

Synopsis

The most comprehensive resource to date on the methods of empowerment with lesbian and gay clients, this book explores the history and politics of gay identity and explains the basis and development of the empowerment approach in social work practice in the United States. After analyzing the different types of homophobia (individual, institutional, and internalized) and how these are manifested in real life situations, Tully addresses the special needs and issues particular to three age groups: gay and lesbian youth, adults, and older clients. The author offers practical applications for the social worker and client at the micro-, mezzo-, and macro-levels, from helping a teenage client to discover a personal sexual orientation (micro), to organizing a social event for lesbians and gays (mezzo), to building a community coalition (macro). Eye-opening case studies are provided for each age group and cover everything from defining problems, identifying the underlying issues causing them, understanding the role of homophobia, and the application of the empowerment perspective.

Excerpt

The concept of empowerment is one that has evolved from a variety of philosophical perspectives and has been embraced by social work professionals as a pragmatic method of operationalizing many social work constructs related to the profession's commitment to working with people and the environments in which they live (“person-in-environment”). While the term “empowerment” is of recent historical vintage, the principles that underlie the term and the applications of its principles are not. Since its inception in the late nineteenth century, social work has been dedicated to the empowerment of disenfranchised persons and minority groups. These include individuals and groups that have historically faced broad-based discrimination related to individual and collective legal and civil liberties and rights because of their ethnicity, race, age, physical ability, religion, political affiliation, or sexual orientation.

Because social workers traditionally have worked with disenfranchised and marginalized individuals and groups that have suffered discrimination, it is not surprising that the empowerment perspective should find its way into the social work practitioner's tool kit. Many social work texts now include concepts related to the use of the empowerment perspective (or the strengths perspective) in a general fashion but fail to explore how this dynamic perspective can be utilized with specific populations. the purpose of this book is to explore the empowerment perspective and its application with lesbian women and gay men.

The book first presents a three-chapter overview of the evolution of concepts related to gay men and lesbian women, the political realities associated with homosexuality, and a conceptual framework for the . . .

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