Journal Article

Catch 22—Black Workers' Role in Equal Opportunities for Black Service Users

Beverley Prevatt Goldstein

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 32, issue 6, pages 765-778
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Catch 22—Black Workers' Role in Equal Opportunities for Black Service Users

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This paper is based on the findings of a qualitative study of black social care workers (28) in white‐led organizations, largely in the north east of England. This study sought to assess the extent to which the practice of employing black workers to promote equal opportunities for black service users led to additional stress for black workers and to identify the contradictions in this employment practice. It explored the expectations black workers held of themselves and perceived others to hold of them vis‐à‐vis the promotion of equal opportunities, the levels of stress of black workers, and the black workers' perceptions of their working conditions. This paper summarizes the findings of the study, largely through the respondents own words, and analyses how this approach to equal opportunities for black service users may contribute to negative working conditions and high stress levels for black workers. It concludes that in order to reduce the stress of black workers and provide a better service for all, organizations need to move towards a skills based rather than a ‘race’ based ethos and to constantly challenge the homogenization, interpersonal and institutional racism experienced by many black workers.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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