I am a white, healthy young woman of 20 from a middle class, single-parent, Catholic religious background. I am a lesbian.
Dominelli (2002) imposes that identity is formed through processes that are rooted in a person’s sense of self of who they want to be, and draws upon group or collective identities depicted in their cultural components, which are socially used to define or specify a way of life or being. My social location is easily identifiable as a white female however, due to the dominance of white supremacy, I am not judged by my racial background much like a woman of “color” may be. These distortions on sexism provide awareness, that oppression is not only in terms of sex and in ...view middle of the document...
I often face societal messages from people who conform to dominant gender norms, who provoke disadvantages towards anyone who transgresses the norms in society such as sexual identity. In a society where identity primarily focused on heterosexual privilege, the people who conform to dominant gender norms (Todd, 2005), I find it necessary to join a supportive group where I can experiment with my identity and not be judged by it.
James (2010) illustrates factors that shape human behaviour and states that these elements, “collectively structure an individuals sense of self, and of his or her possibilities and limitations within society” (p. 93). These seven factors (person, family, peer groups, institutions, community, society and significant world events) help shape myself as an individual and allow me to understand my social location. A significant annual event, the Pride Parade, promotes the LGBTQ community’s self-esteem, equality, rights and builds their social group visibility. This particular event promotes normalizing homosexuality and conveys a powerful message to include diversity in society.
Social Work as a Profession
When I began this course, I thought social work was a field where the primary goal as the practitioner is to interpret a situation and based off knowledge and experience, construct a plan that will aid the transition of a client to where they see themselves in the near future. Over the course of four months, I have expanded my ideas on the topic and come to grasp an understanding of oppression and how it affects many social groups in society. I have also benefitted from learning about anti-oppressive practice and how it, “emphasizes understanding identity formation as a dynamic process and places its impact on human behaviors at the heart of professional social work interventions for both the practitioner and the client” (Dominelli, 2002, p.90). Working with an anti-oppressive attitude can reduce the occurrence of imposing power-over relations, which can exclude a client from forming decisions. Avoiding power over dynamics in circumstances where client interactions assume that the client is passive and dependent, who must be helped by the professional (Dominelli), will allow for an egalitarian dynamic to be produced. After reading much of Dominelli’s work, I now view social work practice as an anti-oppressive practice where empathetic connections are the link to social justice. The relationship between integrating knowledge through empowering thoughts, actions and ideas will value the attainment of empowering the client.
Dominelli (2002), contributed to the idea how disempowerment of a professional can limit the capacity to act and reevaluate a situation in an alternative manner. In a case study held in Britain between Carole and Mandy who identify as lesbian, were caught kissing at school and directed to an Education Welfare Officer, Tony. The headmaster structures the issue in power over terms by exercising his...