Oppression, Power and Diversity in My Social Work Practice
In preparation for this reflection, I took the time to review the progress I have made in my pursuit of my profession of social work practice. In this review, I read, "Diversity perspectives for social work practice" (Anderson, & Carter, 2003) and "Diversity, oppression, and social functioning" (Appleby, Colon & Hamilton, 2007). I also reflected upon the discussions we had in the classroom in the course of the previous semester.
As I reflect upon these readings and the previous experiences in the class discussions, through the topic of oppression, power and diversity in the social work platform. In these readings, as well as the work experience, I have so far in my career; the factor that stands out for me is the subject of a multicultural society that does not have equality among the members. It is noticeable that the society in which we live is multicultural, encompassing people from diverse backgrounds. The aspect of diversity in the society presents the subject of the multicultural society as a challenge in the process of offering social services to the people who need it most. Additionally, in these reflections, it stands out that the social workers are among the leading persons who are contributing to the progress of the multiculturalism being a negative aspect rather than positive for the group that is looked down upon.
In the discussions, in the class, it is clear when it comes to my clarity that there is indeed many issues in the profession that I did not have knowledge regarding. The initial studies I received in the class did not present the profession as to have challenges as this discussion would open my eyes to see. The discussion prompted me into further readings, thus the readings I took in "Diversity perspectives for social work practice" (Anderson, & Carter, 2003) and "Diversity, oppression, and social functioning" (Appleby, Colon & Hamilton, 2007). In these books, I noticed the recurrent factor in oppression within the social work environment and their relation to power and diversity.
In the social work context, the social workers make decisions for their clients on a daily basis. Additionally, being a social worker, it entails meeting and mixing with many people from different societal backgrounds; since the social work profession is for service to the larger society. This means that the social workers do have the obligation to identify with diversity within their practice. Multiculturalism and oppression are two subjects with a very close relation. The oppression in diversity thus falls under the work of the social workers to help tackle the subject. It is in the General Social Care Council Code that practicing social workers ought to respect diversity and different cultures and values (Laird, 2008). Additionally, the practitioners have the obligation to understand the multi-dimensional landscape of diversity, forming the multicultural society.
The responsibility of learning the whole topic of diversity; therefore begins with the individual social workers. This constitutes the need for personal reflection as the starting point in addressing the subject of oppression due to the diversity in the society and the unequal distribution of power. The anti-oppression social work also provides a committed contribution in the process of understanding the subject of oppression (Anderson & Carter, 2003). As the discussions we had in class would have it, it clearly indicates the working progress of anti-oppressive social work network. The personal reflection in the class discussions gave me a new understanding into the topic, helping me to realize the immense responsibility bestowed upon me to work towards bettering the society through positive behavior and practice in my profession. The facilitator in the peer discussion, in class, provided a platform for us to understand the diversity issues and their relation to oppression in social work. From the readings and discussions, it stands out for me that social workers have the challenge to a combat the discriminatory oppressive behavior actively, in a calm and diplomatic manner. Oppressive thinking cuts across the social workers themselves, as well as, the persons to whom they are providing the services (Appleby, Colon & Hamilton, 2007). This implies that multicultural diversity applies to every person. Thus in addressing the issue, as a social worker, I learn the essence of openly challenging oppressive thinking among my colleagues in the profession.