Post an analysis of the dimensions of oppression and marginalization that might impact your future clients. Be specific in identifying the types of clients with whom you might work. In your analysis, explain how the concepts of multiculturalism, power, and privilege are relevant to social work practice.
There are many dimensions of oppression, including the individual, institutional, and societal levels. Adam et al quotes “For every category that is privileged, one or more other categories are oppressed in relation to it…Just as privilege tends to open doors of opportunity, oppression tends to slam them shut” (Teixeira & Krings, 2015). Oppression to me is best defined by restrictions and limitations. This can be as simple as a high school graduate growing up in poverty that does not know where to begin to sign up for college. This limitation could also be the lack of knowledge regarding financial aid. His or her parents may not have gone to college so they cannot help, nor is there someone around to steer them in the right direction. Something this simple for many could prevent them from a future college education. The expectation when you grow up in an oppressed environment may likely be that one will not attend college, many people in poverty may feel like this is a waste of time and money. If you are raised to feel this way, college might actually feel like something negative in life. Whereas people of privilege have opportunities handed to them, being surrounded by both friends and relatives that can help them get started in their academic career, both physically and financially. They also have the expectation from the time that they are young that they will go to college, it is expected of them. Their environment fosters opportunity.
Power and privilege are relevant to social work practice because oppression is the result of these. Adams et al discusses the dominating factors involved with white privilege and power (2013). These privileges often take opportunities and resources away from other cultures. Discovering different backgrounds and oppression will help me to be a better social worker. I will benefit from understanding why culture and environment are the reasons for individual circumstances. Multiculturalism and having an understanding of many different cultures, including religion will also help me when I start practicing social work. NASW discusses the challenges in the United States with understanding different cultures “Multiculturalism, in response to these criticisms, has evolved as a movement with the goal to elevate and celebrate diverse ethnic backgrounds” (Adams et al 2018). I plan to work with children in foster care. These children may have different cultural backgrounds from myself. Their actions and behaviors might be different from my current surroundings, understanding their upbringings and possible oppressions will help me to understand these behaviors.
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Catalano, D. C. J., DeJong, K., Hackman, H. W,… Zuniga, X. (Eds.). (2018). Readings for diversity and social justice (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Press. Chapter 3, (pp. 16-21)Chapter 6, (pp. 34-49)Chapter 9, (pp. 74-77)Chapter 10, (pp. 77-82)Chapter 12, (pp. 87-96).
Teixeira, S., & Krings, A. (2015). Sustainable social work: An environmental justice framework for social work education. Social Work Education, 34(5), 513-527. doi:10.1080/02615479.2015.1063601