Otherness In Social Work

Improved Essays
Purpose

There are many stigmas surrounding mentally ill individuals, many of which describe a scary, violent, crazed individual who lacks self-control. With such strong fears embedded in “normal” individuals, it has caused a great separation between what is perceived as normal and acceptable behavior and what is perceived as undesirable and bad. Additionally, this has also caused a rift within the social work professions. Many social workers feel that they are unable to distinguish between high-risk mentally ill patients and low risk patients causing many social workers to alienate those who are deemed as undeserving due to their violent behavior or past. The study was conducted, in order to answer the question of whether or not social workers felt equipped with enough knowledge to work with both severe and mild mentally ill clients without unknowingly
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Additionally, it questioned the idea of whether or not the concept of “otherness” was something that was created by society or by professionals who us it as a way to pick and chose those who are deserving enough.

Methodology Much of the data in this study was collected in the early 1990’s in South- East England. The study was conducted within socio-demographic areas, which had an array of both wealthy and struggling asylums. Additionally, many of the
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Understanding the concept of “otherness” helps the profession understand the idea of pre judgment. Whether it’s based on the clients skin color, disorder, or illness. Understanding the idea of pre judging can help cease that idea that individuals who have mental illness are underserving, violent, and in general high-risk. Lastly, labeling a client high-risk can have an effect on both the clients behavior and self- esteem and also the social workers attitude and perception. Changing this idea that all patients are high risk and underserving can lead to more positive outcomes for both clients and

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