Educating Australian social workers in the post-apology era :the potential offered by a 'whiteness' lens

Journal article


Young, Susan and Zubrzycki, Joanna. (2011) Educating Australian social workers in the post-apology era :the potential offered by a 'whiteness' lens. Journal of Social Work. 11(2), pp. 159 - 173. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017310386849
AuthorsYoung, Susan and Zubrzycki, Joanna
Abstract

• Summary: The Australian Prime Minister’s 2008 historic Apology to the Stolen Generations gives Australian social work an opportunity to confront its past complicity in Australian Indigenous disadvantage and embrace the development of Indigenous social work as central for practice. Critical Whiteness<sup>1</sup> theory in social work curricula could assist the development of Indigenous social work as a core approach by challenging the ongoing and largely un-reflexive practices emanating from social work’s Euro-centric heritage with its often taken-for-granted knowledges and principles which negatively affect Indigenous peoples.

• Findings: Recent professional and theoretical attention on critical Whiteness highlights race privilege, questions the invisibility and continuing invisibilization of race, critiques previously taken-for-granted Western knowledges and practices, and facilitates the development of countering practice approaches. Research studies reveal some practitioners to be aware of the need for different practices as well as some who practice differently without realizing they are using critical Whiteness principles.

• Application: Critical Whiteness theory in the social work curriculum offers a strong conceptual and practical opportunity for students and practitioners to become more racially cognizant in their work with Indigenous people, allowing this work to be more effective in the profession’s social justice mission as well as decreasing some of the extant colonizing practices.

KeywordsIndigenous social work; social work curriculum; social work theory and practice; whiteness theory and practice
Year2011
JournalJournal of Social Work
Journal citation11 (2), pp. 159 - 173
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.
ISSN1468-0173
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017310386849
Scopus EID2-s2.0-79954457074
Page range159 - 173
Research GroupSchool of Allied Health
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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