The Social Work Field? Essay

1019 Words Sep 14th, 2016 5 Pages
In the social work field, we will encounter many different types of people with a variety of cultural backgrounds. With this in mind, the social worker’s assumptions, biases and presumed knowledge of the client can lead to continued oppression of the already marginalized, decreasing the chances for a growth-fostering relationship based on mutuality. Therefore, in order for social workers to be effective, we must be open, accepting, humble, culturally competent, and self-aware of our assumptions and biases toward those that are different from us.
In order to be self-aware, we must examine the origin of our biases and assumptions in order to minimize their influence over our clients and engage in growth-fostering relationships. Obvious inherited racist societal stereotypes and overgeneralized categories, e.g., Hispanic (indicating someone from any Spanish-speaking country around the world), can create inappropriate biases and assumptions (Murphy & Dillon, 2015). Understandably, these labels do not take into consideration the array of differences within the same group, as well as the complexity of each individual (Murphy & Dillon, 2015).
Further, self-awareness must include how the social worker’s personal culture and group affiliation(s), as well as her past experiences with those that are different from her, create a biased lens of how she sees and responds to the client (Comstock, 2008). It is through this lens that she may unintentionally oppress her client through…

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