Journal Article

Advocacy for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities: Understandings and Expectations

Alison Bowes and Duncan Sim

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 7, pages 1209-1225
Published in print October 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online November 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Advocacy for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities: Understandings and Expectations

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Recent policy has promoted ‘advocacy’ as a means of promoting social justice for many disadvantaged groups. Yet ‘advocacy’ is a contested concept, and the understandings that members of disadvantaged groups themselves have of advocacy have rarely been explored. Previous research indicates that understandings may vary considerably. Using empirical evidence from research conducted in Glasgow, Scotland, this paper examines the understandings and expectations of ‘advocacy’ held by black and minority ethnic (BME) service providers and potential service users. The BME service providers believed that they were offering advocacy, and did so in the context of a marginalized position for their services. The BME community members supported the development of advocacy services, but their own marginalization was in many ways reinforced by services they were already using. They had clear ideas about appropriate advocacy services for their situation. These ideas were grounded in their current situation, and did not necessarily conform to dominant ideas about advocacy. In conclusion, the prospects for successful advocacy are assessed.

Keywords: advocacy; black and minority ethnic groups; refugees and asylum seekers

Journal Article.  7074 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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