Importance Of Intersectionality In Social Work

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Understanding intersectionality is something that is important in the practice of social work. One must be able to understand and deal with one’s clients and their specific positions in life and understand how all of their different identities and places in society interact with each other. However, before one can understand intersectionality in others, one must examine the different areas of one’s own life and how they interact to form a unique identity. I will examine my specific roles in life and how they interact with each other going forward, specifically regarding gender, ethnicity and nationality, race, sexual orientation, abilities and disabilities, class, and religion.
My earliest memories of gender are skewed and confusing. I remember
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I am from a community that is primarily white, so I suppose I was never forced to think about it at an early age. Of course, never having to think about my racial or ethnic identity is a white privilege. As Chimimanda Adiche discussed in her TED Talk, when she lived in Nigeria she never thought of herself as African, and only found herself identifying in that way after moving to America. She, however, was forced to identify that way, as other people placed that label upon her. I have always had the choice whether or not to see myself as white. As found in Chapter Seven of Multicultural Social Work Practice, many white people do not want to think of themselves as part of this privileged and oppressive group, and will act confused or even deny it when they are questioned about the topic. When other people look at me, they do not automatically stereotype me in a negative way based on my race. I also do not have to experience microaggressions on a daily basis because of associations people make with my skin color. I also can choose whether or not to examine my privilege, and whether or not to use that privilege to advocate for others. According to the Hardiman Model of White Racial Identity development, one has to actively raise awareness about discrimination and confront one’s own biases before reading the Internalization Stage and committing to forming a non-racist identity. While I cannot reverse my socialization, …show more content…
I recognize that my standing has a lot to do with this privilege. Because I come from a relatively wealthy and educated area, no one gave me weird looks when I talked about reincarnation or my yogic practice. Because I am from the United States, I have the ability to try on many different spiritualties for size without much thought given to the historical struggle many people had to go through to gain religious freedom. And because I am white, I was able to do all of this without giving much regard to the sacred history of the religions I was appropriating. However, because of the diverse experiences I have had with my own spirituality, I feel it puts me in a place to be more accepting of clients’ personal

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