Esprit Rock

I continue to develop my role as a social worker by remembering the mistakes from the past and become critically conscious and critically reflective to challenge oppression and inequality

I continue to develop my role as a social worker by remembering the mistakes from the past and become critically conscious and critically reflective to challenge oppression and inequality. Previously, social workers demonstrated their good intentions by helping others but lacked critical consciousness and critical reflection making their efforts superficial and ineffective. In my role, I must practice critical consciousness by continually analyzing my interactions with clients and other social work professionals. This awareness will help me to be conscious of my thoughts and behaviours that perpetuate oppressive practices, such as the teacher/student trap where the social worker’s authority sets power over the client (Pitner ; Sakamoto, 2005). It is also imperative that as a social worker, I adopt an intersectional approach to my practice especially because gender, sexuality, class and race power relations may be normalized and invisible (Mattison, 2013). By understanding how these categories interact on different levels, I can challenge any stereotypes or normalized thinking to change oppressive conditions. Adopting this anti-oppressive perspective as a part of my professional identity, I can see myself in a collective role where I can challenge oppression from a micro perspective with clients to a macro perspective by questioning prevailing social structures and ideology with other practitioners including those from other disciplines.