Critical Consciousness In Social Work

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Social work is a profession that is set out to improve the well-being of society, whether it is direct or indirect. Direct social workers address societal issues within a micro perspective, for instance, one-on-one counselling. Indirect social workers improve the well-being of society through a macro perspective, for instance, government agencies aimed at forming and critiquing social programs or policies. A significant characteristic of a social worker is being critical or analytical with regards to any possible issues. Social work is a critical practice because it integrates critical thinking/reflection, critical consciousness and the analysis of oppression. These three factors share the idea of being critical and aware of different perspectives …show more content…
In order to be able to truly assist an individual, one must be aware of oppressive actions such as racism, sexism, classism, etc. Critical social work must investigate the many stories concerning each and every issue explained by clients and look past the dominant stories told. For instance, with regards to aboriginals, the majority of the population is aware of the dominant story in which the government has informed us of. When studying the works of Thomas King, such as, what is it about us that you don’t like; Individuals are able to understand the perspective of a person experiencing such traumatizing event first-hand. Throughout this course, students must engage in a governmental textbook and also a course package including pieces written by various individuals. This allows the students to envision both perspectives and through this, they are able to critically assess a situation. Furthermore, the analysis of oppression is emphasized in social work because it requires the social worker to critique the idea of repressed individuals, such as women of color. By understanding the different aspects within oppression, one is able to better analyse and interpret the experiences of their client. For instance, when Thomas King writes about his mother’s experiences he states, “I told her she was crazy to allow people to treat her like that. But she knew the nature of the world in which she lived, and I did not” (King, 2013 p.4). King informs the reader that the individual with the issue will always know their world best, thus, as a man; he is unable to truly understand the sexist oppression his mother faces. He believes that she is allowing people to take advantage of her, but he does not taken in consideration what differences it makes to be female and how it contributes to her situation. Therefore, social work refers to a profession based on

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