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An Examination of Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive Theory and Practice in Social Work Education

MARIE MACEY and EILEEN MOXON
The British Journal of Social Work
Vol. 26, No. 3 (June 1996), pp. 297-314
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23710652
Page Count: 18
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An Examination of Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive Theory and Practice in Social Work Education
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Abstract

Social work education is subject to further changes partly in response to media and governmental scrutiny and pressure, with particular criticism being levelled at anti-racist social work theory and practice. This paper questions whether this is due only to the dominance of a particular ideology in Britain, or if it is also a consequence of the failure of social work education to adequately address the complexity of the issues involved. The authors suggest that much of the anti-racist social work literature is theoretically inadequate, being informed by neither sociological, political nor economic theory or research on racism in Britain. This has made it vulnerable in a climate which is hostile to struggles for racial and other forms of social equality. The authors conclude that a radical, yet realistic, way forward is to move away from the current narrow focus on anti-racism to a broader anti-oppressive framework. This recognizes the need to continue the fight against racial, alongside class, gender and other forms of oppression, whilst setting achievable objectives within the social work process.

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