Journal Article

What kind of people are we? 'Race', anti-racism and social welfare research

M Boushel

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 30, issue 1, pages 71-89
Published in print February 2000 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online February 2000 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
What kind of people are we? 'Race', anti-racism and social welfare research

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This article argues that, to provide reliable and nationally relevant information on which to base policy and practice and to afford the Black population equal access to knowledge about its social realities, social welfare research needs to include accurate representations of minority ethnic groups and their changing needs. Using child welfare and community care as examples, a brief research review indicates the continued scarcity of such research and its potential benefits. The methodological supports available to researchers seeking to include minority ethnic populations and anti-racist perspectives are considered, and it is concluded that such supports are limited and patchy. In exploring the reasons for this, the author identifies some of the political, personal and technical challenges an anti-racist approach presents. The terms 'experiential affinity' and 'experiential interdependence' are introduced to help conceptualize the knowledge and power differentials which may impede researchers pursuing anti-discriminatory aims, and a 'costs and benefits' framework is suggested to help understand and confront these issues. Then, drawing on existing research and theory, the article considers in detail some of the technical challenges to be overcome, with particular reference to sample identification and selection, fieldwork processes and data analysis and suggests practical ways in which some of these challenges might be met.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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