Journal Article

Use of Critical Consciousness in Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice: Disentangling Power Dynamics at Personal and Structural Levels

Izumi Sakamoto and Ronald O. Pitner

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 35, issue 4, pages 435-452
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch190
Use of Critical Consciousness in Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice: Disentangling Power Dynamics at Personal and Structural Levels

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One of the limitations of anti-oppressive perspectives (AOPs) in social work is its lack of focus at a micro and individual level. AOPs should entail the social worker’s addressing the needs and assets of service users, challenging the oppressive social structure and, most importantly, critically challenging the power dynamics in the service-provider/service-user relationship. Critical consciousness challenges social workers to be cognizant of power differentials and how these differentials may inadvertently make social-work practice an oppressive experience. The authors contend that critical consciousness fills in some of the gaps of AOPs, and argue for a fuller integration of critical consciousness into teaching and practice of AOPs. The methods to work toward critical consciousness, such as inter-group dialogues, agent–target distinctions and empowerment, are detailed.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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