Anti-oppressive social work theory and practice by Lena Dominelli

By Lena Dominelli

"Lena Dominelli is Professor of Social and group improvement and Director of the Centre for foreign Social and neighborhood improvement, college of Southampton, and President of the foreign organization of colleges of Social Work."--BOOK JACKET.

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However, within a context of inegalitarian social relations, success in finding commonalities within the varying positions that people adopt depends on a number of factors. These include the range of ‘allocative and authoritative resources’ that individuals bring into the interaction alongside any unintended consequences and the purposes for which they seek to unite with each other across differences. These are likely to affect the value accorded to any particular body attribute and contribute to shaping the outcome in any interaction or negotiation.

1996). Understanding the interaction between all these levels enables practitioners to see the contingencies that shape clients’ lives and strengthen their capacities to relate to them in ways that recognise their ability to make decisions for themselves. Respecting clients’ rights to make decisions requires social workers to treat them as capable, relatively autonomous individuals. And, rather than pathologising clients for their plight, focusing on their strengths without undermining their responsibility for the choices they make.

The working environment has to be an anti-oppressive one throughout. Employers have to treat their employees, the social workers, in anti-oppressive ways. The absence of these two dimensions will make it difficult for practitioners to practice in an anti-oppressive manner. Thus, the extent to which anti-oppressive practice can survive and flourish within organisations that are not committed to its precepts at the personal, institutional and cultural levels remains a crucial issue. This concern goes beyond formal legality in the context of a less than egalitarian society.

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