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Analysis of Critical Social Work Theory and Anti-oppressive Practice

Discuss About The Social Work Theory Anti-Oppressive Theory.

Social work is one of the most difficult subject to define and there is no certain definition to it present any where in books or journals. However, it has been described by many authors according to their perception to the topic. In my views social work can be defined as practical job dedicated to bringing changes in people’s lives, provide protection to those who need it and bring changes to the people’s live by trying to upgrade their social life scenarios at individual as well as community level (Dominelli, 2004). The social work theory is collection of knowledge and database about distinct situations and the methods to consult them which makes collecting it a crucial social work practice. Hence, social work theories provide direction to social work activities and distinguish it from informal helping.  The session consists of theories related to feminism, in which social workers fight for equality amongst men and women. The other approach is strength based operate in which the system works in favor of upliftment of customers and employees

In this essay analysis of two such theories that are Critical Radical Social Work Theory and Anti-Oppressive theory have been done. They are the point of curiosity as the Critical Radical Social Work Theory is based on data collected after characterizing and structing the causes of different types of disadvantages, identification of oppressed and social upliftment work with the primary aim of achieving individual liberalization. On the other hand, Anti-oppressive theory of social work focuses on addressing issues related oppression regardless of cast, sex creed, colour and expression people share at all levels of social organisation (Howe, 2017). In addition to critical social work theory and Anti-Oppressive practices the session also consisted of theory on Feminism and solution focused based therapy, where theory of feminism concentrated upon bringing equality in society by uplifting the suppress sex that is female. Solution focused based therapy on the other hand represents collaborative approach to psychotherapeutic change based on direct observation of clients' responses based on precisely constructed questions.

According to Finn and Jacobsen, (2003), critical social work theory covers broad variety of positions that are impossible to locate collectively hence he identified the theory in two theoretical positions that are structural and post structural. In structural position the author discloses universal oppressions based on race, class and gender. On the other hand, in post structural the author placed oppressions based on postmodernism moreover it advocates relativism. Based on the theoretical approach the author has figured out limitations to the theory like the social context in which the workers operate is in need of reinforcements for practicing social work. This has been further argued by taking reviews from major schools though effective surveys. From the surveys it was found that all of the social work including system perspective, structural integration, and strengths highlighted system’s limitations as none of the perspectives adopted an integrated approach to social work and concentrated more on theoretical themes, power and history rather than considering the present social conditions. Moreover, the authors articulated a platform to compare other methods like feminism and race theory along with critical method on critically analyzing it was found that the core principles of critical method were underpinned and outdated and focused only on smaller range of oppressions.

Strengths of Critical Work Theory

Contrarily, Healy (2014) divided critical Work Theory in post modern and modernist form along with radical social work, feminist social work, anti-racist social work and many more. In my view the division provided by Healy (2014), is more elaborated and useful as it makes data base organization more stable. The author stated critical work theory to be full of strengths as it is efficient to give people an alternative view towards the society keeping human needs as central value. Considers the fact that social work is political activity that reinforces the status of solutions. Recognize critical social awareness to very importance social work skills.  

Dominelli, (2002), has mentioned that critical social theory is advantageous as it develops and perpetuate disadvantage to the materials as they regenerate ideologies and make researchers to understand dominant ideologies and help social workers in serving disadvantaged people.  

In addition to it Payne (2015), has mentioned some strengths of critical social theory in his text. Some of the strengths are that the theory recognize society to be a cause of personal problems amongst people and accounts to the process of its occurrence. It recognizes relationship amongst society and individual to be transactional, interactive and reflexive which helps people to affect their socially available circumstances. Moreover, the theory seeks individual and social autonomy and give value to insight to make clients understand the situation and circumstances they are going though.  

Mullaly’s (1997) described Structural Social Work, with which most of the people are generally familiar. It represents the clear articulation of the radical and structural position or critical social work. It has been observed that so many number of key themes can only emerge from such an approach. These include analysis by structural form to trace personal problems that take place within social and economic structures of societies. In addition, Social control functions of social work and welfare services are constantly identified and expressed in everyday work. The theory won the Critique of the status quo in social economic and political arrangements is continual.  Most precious oppression of the work is provision of protection of individuals against oppression is a major focus of work. The theory keeps personal liberation and social change as important goals.

Therefore, I have inferred from the above text that critical social work theory carries more strength than liabilities and hence is useful tool to be implemented for upliftment of society.

Limitations of Critical Work Theory

Anti-oppressive practice is sub-theory of critical work theory that focuses on putting end to socioeconomic oppression. It refers to the philosophy that are consistent to value base of social work that addresses social injustice.  


According to Payne (2015), the major strength of this practice lies in the in it language as it reveals the ideological position behind it that specifically targets social injustice. He further defined a few approaches that strengthen these practices such astherapeutic helping approaches that as the basis of intervention focuses on individuals and their psychological functioning, other is maintenance approaches that focuses on practical interventions such as resources, information in order to enabling people to deal with their lives when they view society as benign. Emancipatory approaches are another approach that denotes an explicit commitment towards social justice and openly challenge the welfare system on not getting support.

In order t draw limitations of the practice the author reviewed concept of anti-discriminative and anti-oppressive approaches in respect to social work. He stated that political views regarding discrimination and oppression might lead to different approach modes.Payne (2015) lead to anti-discrimination and sensitivity discussion with wider theoretical setting and discussed impact on practices of approach dependent on issues such as the nature of culture, race and ethnicity and the existence of discriminatory behaviors. Because of these reasons anti-discriminatory approaches have gained necessity in society.

Supporting the limitations mentioned by Payne, Sue, Rasheed & Rasheed (2015) have noted the overtime anti-discrimination to find out that issues related to race and gender and towards a recognition of the wider nature of oppression includes issues such as lesbian and gay rights, disability, mental illness, ageing and more.

The writers argue that oppression can be present at different levels of social organization as they saw officials as embedded in social systems. The limitation arises when practice is compared to practical is that in practice the social workers are presented with opportunities to address the causes and effects of oppression at all of these levels, while in reality having decreasing amounts of influence in the broader structural and societal levels.

The other key limitation of the AOP as per Mattsson (2014) are determined by the degree to which AOPs fails to properly address issues related to practice with individuals and families i.e. practice at the micro level, thus leaving many social workers with inadequate guidance on how exactly to perform Anti-Oppressive practice.

Anti-oppressive Practice


Baldwin (2016) suggest part of the solution all the limitations of anti-oppressive practices depends upon the development of critical consciousness that lies on social work students and practitioners’ part. It is same as the idea of gaining consciousness however, the author in the case put emphasis on not raising the political awareness, but on developing the critical consciousness of the worker in order to deal with the limitations. Furthermore, he discusses the development of critical consciousness which involves processes like self-reflection and also contributes in a social work with liberated goal of practice for both the service user and the social worker.

Furthermore, the author discussed some specific ways for moving towards critical consciousness which included examination of the utility or of the current language that is been used within AOPs. Moreover, inter-group dialogues during social work training, and recognizing workers particular status such as their age, gender and race that has impact over the power dynamics along with service users.

Therefore, from the above analysis I have inferred that Anti-oppressive Practice the sub theory of critical social work has many limitations and strengths depending upon multiple factors but with effective implementation it could help in upliftment of oppressed people of society.

Conclusion

From the above essay I have concluded that social work including system perspective, structural integration, strengths highlighted system’s limitations as none of the perspectives adopted an integrated approach to social work and concentrated more on theoretical themes, power and history rather than considering the present social conditions. Moreover, it is concluded for social work to be political activity that reinforces the status of solutions and in order to do that Recognizing critical social awareness is very important social work skills.  

Furthermore, I have analyzed that the critical social work theory seeks individual and social autonomy and give value to insight to make clients understand the situation and circumstances they are going though.  Therefore, from critical evaluation I have absorbed that critical social work theory carries more strength than liabilities and hence is useful tool to be implemented for upliftment of society.

In case of anti-oppressive practices, it has been evaluated that the limitation arises when practice is compared to practical is that in practice the social workers are presented with opportunities to address the causes and effects of oppression at all of these levels, while in reality having decreasing amounts of influence in the broader structural and societal levels.

Finally, I has been concluded that Anti-oppressive Practice or the sub theory of critical social work has many limitations and strengths depending upon multiple factors but with effective implementation it could help in upliftment of oppressed people of society.

References

Dominelli, L. (2004). Social work: theory and practice for a changing profession. Polity Press.

Howe, D. (2017). An introduction to social work theory. Routledge.

Payne, M. (2015). Modern social work theory. Oxford University Press.

Healy, K. (2014). Social work theories in context: Creating frameworks for practice. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Dominelli, L. (2002). Feminist social work theory and practice. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Soja, E. W. (1989). Postmodern geographies: The reassertion of space in critical social theory. Verso.

Abrams, L. S., & Moio, J. A. (2009). Critical race theory and the cultural competence dilemma in social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 45(2), 245-261.

Heron, B. (2005). Self?reflection in critical social work practice: subjectivity and the possibilities of resistance. Reflective practice, 6(3), 341-351.

Finn, J. & Jacobsen, M. (2003). Just practice: Steps towards a new social work paradigm. Journal of Social Work Education, 39, (1), 57-78.

Baldwin, M. (2016). Social work, critical reflection and the learning organization. Routledge.

Mattsson, T. (2014). Intersectionality as a useful tool: Anti-oppressive social work and critical reflection. Affilia, 29(1), 8-17.

Sue, D. W., Rasheed, M. N., & Rasheed, J. M. (2015). Multicultural social work practice: A competency-based approach to diversity and social justice. John Wiley & Sons.

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