Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees

By Pallassana R. Balgopal | Go to book overview

Among the many challenges of working with immigrants and refugees is the notion that Americans tend to view these people as “parasites,” thereby making their adjustment even more difficult. When applying this ecological perspective to the immigrant and refugee populations, therefore, workers must be ethnically sensitive and skilled in helping these groups adapt to their environment without losing their cultural heritage. The coping and adaptation of these “new Americans” need to be seen as a dual process—learning new customs and lifestyles while retaining old traditions and values. This book is mainly about the major immigrant groups who have come to the United States since the 1965 Immigration Act. It begins with an overview of the recent immigrant groups, followed by five chapters on immigrants and refugees from Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. Each chapter examines the immigrants from a particular region and how their demographic and cultural characteristics affect their adaptation to the new environment. The authors look at these groups' needs and how they could be addressed at both the micro and macro levels. Besides facing many of their predecessors' problems, the immigrants of today also have special needs with which social workers should be familiar.

This volume is designed primarily for undergraduate and graduate students in social work. But because of the topics covered and their timeliness, it should be useful as well to social work practitioners, schoolteachers, and other helping service professionals who want to learn about the new immigrant and refugee groups.


REFERENCES

Rappaport, J. (1977). Community Psychology: Values, Research and Action. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

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