Within this essay the areas in which discrimination and oppression occur will be highlighted and then evaluated to show how ‘good’ anti oppressive/ discriminative practice within social work can ‘aid’ and empower service users who are in groups that experience oppression and discrimination to overcome their problems. Gil (1994) states that “the conditions that cause people to seek help from social services are usually direct or indirect consequences of social, economic, and political institutions, and... the profession of social work is ethically committed to promote social justice. Insights into oppression and social justice, and into ways of overcoming them, are therefore essential aspects of the foundations of social work knowledge”.
In addition to this, this essay will discuss the importance for social workers to have a clear understanding that “discrimination is the process (or a set of processes) that leads to oppression” and that in order “To challenge oppression, it is therefore necessary to challenge discrimination.” (Thompson 2001) This essay will draw attention to the importance of this understanding as within social work practice there is a danger that social workers could reinforce the oppression and discrimination against their service user, “ There is no middle ground: intervention either adds to oppression (or at least condones it) or goes some small way towards easing or breaking such oppression.” (Thompson 1992)
Thompson’s PCS model is extremely useful in aiding social workers to accurately examine and understand the impact that oppression, discrimination and inequality has on the “social circumstances of clients” and on the “interactions between clients and the welfare state.” (Thompson, 2001) The first level of Thompson’s PCS model ‘P’ relates to the importance that the personal “thoughts, feelings, attitudes and... [continues]
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