Conceptualizing oppression : resistance narratives for social work

Hillock, Susan (2011) Conceptualizing oppression : resistance narratives for social work. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Using an exploratory qualitative research design, featuring semi-structured interviews with ten social work field instructors, this thesis explores three key areas related to oppression: 1) the participants' discourses, experiences, and narratives of oppression including the respondents' conceptualization processes about oppression; 2) their representational narratives and constructions about how they applied their conceptualizations of oppression to social work practice and their personal lives; and 3) their resistance efforts. Four main themes emerging from the research findings include: 1) understandings of oppression and anti-oppressive practice (AOP); 2) limited acknowledgement of privilege and entitlement; 3) a conclusion that good intentions are not enough to create social change, and 4) a lack of collectivity and social action. Based on these themes, recommendations range from the need for effective change strategies for the "low power" actor, the development of educational curriculum and field instruction skills related to AOP, to the teaching of successful resistance strategies. Suggestions for future research are outlined including exploring service users' conceptualizations of oppression, ascertaining if social workers stories about their resistance and AOP are congruent with their actual behaviours, and creating research and scholarship into how to facilitate and optimize student learning through classroom and field practicum moments of AOP transformation, identity challenge, stress, and uncertainty.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 9528
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 237-252.
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: 2011
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Oppression (Psychology); Social work education; Fieldwork (Educational method); Social workers--Attitudes

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