Writings on Racism & Social Justice at GoldenWrites.com
Elements of Structural Social Work
Steve Hicks-Carlton University, School of Social Work-Canada
The School recognizes that the amelioration of structural inequalities is
at the heart of social work practice.
STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF PERSONAL PROBLEMS
Structural Analysis of Personal Problems: Structural social work extends
conventional casework notions of social context to an emphasis on how
socioeconomic structures oppress. Frequently when conventional social work
approaches look at environmental factors they concentrate on immediate
social environment such as family, friends and work. Structural social
work considers these environmental factors, and extends the analysis by
consideration broader socioeconomic factors.
DEFENSE OF CLIENTS RIGHTS
o recognizes importance of material resources
Defence of Client's Rights refers to worker activities directed at
responding to the clients the need for adequate financial and material
resources. Advocacy for client rights and adequate resources recognizes
the importance of addressing issues of material resources. Conventional
social work encourages social workers to emphasize personal emotions,
skills, and interpersonal capacities and conveys the message that these
are more important than advocacy for material resources.
o egalitarian client-worker relationship
o demystify professional techniques
Mutual dialogue structural social workers strive for egalitarian mutual
dialogue in the client worker relationship. Conventional social workers
maximize worker -- client power differences following the professional
expert model. While consultation may occur generally prescribed solutions
are proposed which clients are expected to follow.
LINK PERSONAL & POLITICAL
o extend traditional casework methods
o how clients situation links with structures
Link Personal and Political structural social workers begin with the
premise that existing structures are oppressive and the export changing.
This involves sharing opinions and encouraging feedback concerning how the
clients situation links with the primary structures of oppression.
Conventional social work methods tend to blame the victim and
- do not ignore responsibility for behaviour
- explore behaviour in relation to others and structures in society
Personal Change although the structural social worker views social
problems as being caused by the primary structures of oppression, they do
not blame everything on structures and ignore individual responsibility
for harmful behaviour. Client and worker work together to explore the
clients feelings and behaviour in relation to both the structures of
oppression and the behaviour of other people.
- recognize common experiences
- discuss how collective solutions occur
Collective Consciousness fostering collective consciousness requires that
people recognize common experiences. Progressive social workers should
link their own experiences with the experiences of others in similar
situations. The client -- worker dialogue should include an examination of
how collective solutions to problems can occur. Clients are encouraged to
link with other people who have had similar experiences.
- involve yourself in social change action
- most important & powerful aspect
Social Activism structural social workers engage in activism to change
structures. Since conventional social workers to not see existing
structures as problematic, political activism is seen as unnecessary and
unprofessional. For structural social workers training social action
groups or movements represent one of the most important and powerful
aspects of work.
© Copyright 1998-2000, Steven Hick, All Rights Reserved.
The New Structural Social Work: Ideology, Theory, Practice
Bob Mullaly, Professor and Founding Director, Social Work Program, St
Dean of the School of Social Work, University of Manitoba-Canada
408 pages November 2006
Social Work: A Critical Turn
Steven Hick, Carleton University, Canada
Jan Fook, La Trobe University, Australia
Richard Pozzuto, School of Social Work of East Carolina University,
ISBN 1-55077-147-7, 236 pages (2004) / Paper
Retail Price: $39.95 CDN / $32.95 US
Social Work: A Critical Turn is both an introduction to
critical social work and an examination of current theory and practice.
This volume features contributions from an international group of scholars
who define the main theoretical underpinnings of a critical approach to
social work and examine innovative practice methods using this
Social Work: A Critical Turn situates critical social work within a
theoretical context, comparing it with postmodernist, radical, feminist,
anti-racist and structural approaches. It also reviews key issues that
require further development in critical social work theory, practice and
The Color of Wealth
The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide
By Meizhu Lui, Barbara Robles, Betsy Leondar-Wright,
Rose Brewer, Rebecca Adamson
The New Press, 2006
The Color of Wealth is the first book to lay out the obstacles placed in the path of asset building by government actions and inactions for four different racialized groups, and to detail the boosts given to white people by public policy. The book's message is a hopeful one; the very success of programs to move white men into the middle class shows that it can be done for everyone. Inspiring case studies and realistic policy ideas point the way towards a real opportunity society.
The New Press
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Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence
Release Date: 2007-03-01
Empowerment-oriented case management: A challenge to the status quo?
Nugent, J. & Spindel, P. (2003).
Mississauga, Canada: Monographs Nu-Spin Publishing.
1603 Carmen Drive
Mississauga, L5G 3Z2 Canada
ISBN # 0-9688150-0-6
Understanding and Dismantling Racism: The Twenty-first Century Challenge to White America
by Joseph Barndt
Specs: paperback, 244 pages
Order from link above or call Fortress Press at 1-800-328-4648 or visit the Web site at www.fortresspress.com.
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Anti Racist Social Work (British Association of Social Workers (BASW) Practical Social Work)
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