On your own, do some reflective writing that answers the following questions. Once you have finished writing, discuss your general reflection.
- Social work is defined by its origins both in the provision of charity and the fight for social justice. How would you characterize social work as you have experienced it today—is it more like “old style” charity, or is it a movement toward justice?
- Thinking about the communities where social workers form relationships, what do we gain and what do we risk losing by adopting a professional social work identity? Consider the following in your reply: the ramifications of practitioner-client power imbalances, establishing professional credibility or clout, and the call to act in solidarity with those who experience social and economic injustices.
- What are some ways that you, as a practitioner, can mediate the tensions between professionalization and the commitment to challenging structural racism, sexism, and other forms of structural oppression?