Journal Article

Developing Anti‐Oppressive Empowering Social Work Practice with Older Lesbian Women and Gay Men

Jackie Langley

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 31, issue 6, pages 917-932
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/31.6.917
Developing Anti‐Oppressive Empowering Social Work Practice with Older Lesbian Women and Gay Men

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Available studies suggest that around 10 per cent of the population might self‐identify as a lesbian woman or gay man (Davies and Neal, 1996). It follows that social workers will engage with older people who are homosexual. It does not follow that they will know who they are, as this is a group often characterized by its invisibility. This paper reports the results of a small‐scale, exploratory study which examined how older lesbian women and gay men perceived their needs should they become ill or disabled as they age (Langley, 1997). Their concerns were viewed in the context of their past as well as present lives, and oppression was a unifying theme. Some of the findings are examined in order to highlight key challenges for social work practice. These include: (i) working with invisibility and fear of oppression; (ii) developing awareness and recognition of lesbian and gay relationships and supportive networks; (iii) the need for anti‐oppressive empowering services which match the needs and circumstances of older lesbian women and gay men; (iv) importantly, the need for greater awareness of the heterosexist assumptions which influence institutional responses and individual practice.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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