By Lena Dominelli
"Lena Dominelli is Professor of Social and group improvement and Director of the Centre for foreign Social and group improvement, college of Southampton, and President of the foreign organization of colleges of Social Work."--BOOK JACKET.
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Additional info for Anti-oppressive social work theory and practice
However, this form of universalism treated each subject or citizen as identical and normalised provisions according to white men’s needs (Williams, 1989). Nonetheless, the context of universalism has facilitated professionals’ willingness and ability to incorporate claimants’ wishes for respect and dignity into their usual routines. However, within the current historical period of the welfare state, responding to user-led demands for control and emancipation may place social workers in a difficult position vis-à-vis employers who endorse a neo-liberal modernising project.
It has also ensured that despite being part of the welfare state, the personal social services have not been framed as a universal benefit such as education and health which, in theory, are available to all, free at the point of need. Rather, these have been constructed as residual services under the auspices of a marginalised profession charged with integrating into broader society the most deserving of those in disadvantaged groups. Social work has traditionally concerned itself primarily with providing people with a ‘hand-up, not a hand-out’.
For example, Maslow’s (1970) hierarchy of needs ignores their contentious nature and posits a universality that does not reflect the realities of many people’s lives, particularly how those needs are neglected or suppressed because they are living in conditions of dire poverty. Nor does it acknowledge the ordering of need on other than the psycho-physical terrain. Thus, the impact of social attributes such as gender or ‘race’ in their ordering is neglected. An illustration of this is how women in a number of societies reserve the best food for their husbands, or in situations of scarcity feed their children before themselves.
Anti-oppressive social work theory and practice by Lena Dominelli