Social Work Notes

Topics: Sociology / Pages: 3 (593 words) / Published: Mar 26th, 2014
Challenging Oppression – A Critical Approach to Social Work (Bob Mullaly)

Oppression is a state of being kept down by force or authority.

Personally Constructed Theory

Social Work is practiced based and pursues the following to lead to well-articulated practice (functions of theory) - description, explanation, prediction, control and management of events and changes.

There is much discussion regarding the nature of, dynamics, forms, functions and causes of oppression however there is no dominant theory of oppression or anti-oppression. There is three approaches used to address oppression:
1. Help oppressed people to deal with their own oppression
2. Attempt to modify or reform the so that oppressed people can better fit into it
3. Contribute to the total transformation of society (minority adopt this approach, compared to the first two. Each are not mutually exclusive).

Social Services seek to treat, ameliorate, and/or attempt to eliminate the causes and consequences of social problems (e.g. poverty, crime, child abuse (sexual abuse), domestic violence).

There is no one definition of Social Problem. While there is a plurality of views, each is however consistent of (1) a condition is societal in nature, (2) it affects a significant number of people, (3) in ways that are considerably undesirable and (4) a response is needed to address it. There is more than one definition because social structures are subjective, objective and ideological. Hence, there is different definitions, interpretations and proposed remedies.
Is the condition real, or imagined?
Does it effect a significant number of people?
Who considers the condition undesirable?
What can be done to rectify the condition?
Should the social problem imply the primacy of human agency, or should it focus on values and social structures?

Current theoretical perspectives on social problems:
Social Pathology View (social problems = character flaws and theory uses medical model of

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