SWTP109 Human Rights In Social Work: Critical Self-Reflection Assignment 2 Answer

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Question :

SWTP109: Human Rights and Social Justice in Social Work and Human Services

ASSIGNMENT 2  Critical self-reflection and growth essay

Self-awareness and conscious use of self are critical concepts in social work practice. As social workers, it is important that we continue to reflect on our social identities, experiences and perspectives and examine how these might influence our knowledge and practices. This assessment task is intended to help you reflect on and examine some of your personal views, opinions and experiences and develop a learning and growth plan which might contribute to your professional development as social workers aligned with cultural responsiveness and anti-oppression.

  1. As we have discussed in this unit, we all have many dimensions of our social identity, e.g. gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, caste, sexual orientation, gender expression, ability status etc. Think about different dimensions of your social identity. Identify dimensions of your social identity that belong to dominant groups within society. For example, if you identify as 24-year old, Australia born, woman, White, lesbian, and able- bodied, you may say that the dimensions of your social identity which belong to dominant groups in society are age (young person), race (White), migration status (Australia born), and ability status (able-bodied).
  2. Identify a group or community that has experienced historical discrimination, marginalisation and oppression, and towards which you hold stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices that you are willing to change. It is important that you are not a member of the group or community you choose to write about.
  3. Discuss social, political and economic problems which members of the marginalised and oppressed group have experienced in Australian society. Discuss any laws or policies which have negatively impacted people belonging to this group. What kind of social discrimination do members of this community face in Australia in their everyday lives? Consider how members of this community are discussed and portrayed in media and popular culture. Use specific examples to illustrate your points. Refer to academic sources (peer-reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters) of information to build and support your arguments (Minimum 5).
  4. Describe and critically examine your own beliefs, opinions, perspectives or attitudes towards members of this community. Think about the origins of your beliefs and opinions. What messages did you receive about this community while growing up, from family, school, friends, and media? What social factors and forces contributed to you developing stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices towards this community?
  5. Identify ways in which the stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices that you hold towards this community might influence your social work practice when working with service users (clients) belonging to this community.
  6. Discuss a plan for how you plan to address the stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices you have identified. What is/are the objective(s) of this plan and what activities would you undertake? Be specific and realistic. For example, educating yourself through reading may be part of your growth plan. However, to simply say that you plan to read is too vague. Identify specific readings and discuss how you think that reading will help you learn and grow with regard to challenging and addressing the stereotypes and biases you hold. Also, reading is just one of many possible ideas; think critically and creatively.

Weighting:40%

Length and/or format:1500 words

Purpose:To recognise, examine and address one’s own biases and stereotypes with regard to a historically marginalised community

Learning outcomes assessedLO1, LO3, LO4

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Answer :

I. Identifications of dimensions of social identity

Determining social identity can be effective for having an idea related to one's own position in society or community. As mentioned by Sechi and ŠÄ·ilters (2017), gender identity, race as well as ethnicity, caste along with sexual orientation and ability status are some of the key determinants of social identity. Thus, I can mention that if I can be able to identify my social position, I can be able to determine whether I am in a dominant social group or not. I am a 26 years old woman. My name is Manisha Khadka. I was born in Nepal, so my nationality is Nepalese. I am a Hindu by religion. I am quite able to be engaged actively in a range of social work. 

I think that I belong to the dominant groups in society based on age, race and religion as well as nationality and migration status. The following points are showing my social identity- 

  • Age- 26 years 
  • Class- Middle class 
  • Race- Blonde 
  • Nationality- Nepalese 
  • Religion- Hindu 
  • Migration status- Nepal to Australia 
  • Ethnicity- comes from conservative family  
  • Ability-  to disburse social work 

II. Identifying a group or community that is oppressed 

Australian aboriginals are commonly considered as discriminated, historically marginalized and oppressed. Most striking fact is that the aboriginal community is still facing issues related to racial discrimination. As per the thoughts of Watts and Hodgson (2019), there are some stern stereotypes and prejudices regarding the existence of Australian aboriginals. For example, they are considered as nomadic, violent as well as uneducated and dark skinned. For example, due to racial marginalization and reinforcements of inequality in aboriginal communities, they were not able to experience socio-economic opportunities. According to me, these stereotypes and prejudices must be changed for aboriginal communities and they need to be provided with proper socio-economic support.

In order to highlight the mode of discrimination or oppression towards Australian aboriginals, it can be presented that they were ignored openly in a community and surrounding people rejected to interact with them. One of the most critical prejudices regarding the aboriginals is that they live in unhealthy conditions in desert areas (Australianstogether, 2020). These wrong concepts and implicit biases regarding Australian aboriginal people must be eliminated from communities for sustaining social growth of backward communities in an effective way. 

III. Discussion based on social, political and economic problem faced by the individuals of oppressed group

The social problems faced by Australian aboriginal are based on lack of medical care, little education as well as a huge rate of unemployment in communities. As a result of this, issues based on broken families and clash among community heads are becoming prominent (Worrell, 2018).  Along with this, the aboriginal individuals face some political issues such as Acts of government with assimilation policies as well as Racism and discrimination. As stated by Garcon-Mills (2015), issues based on political conflicts are very common in aboriginal communities as the Government is not focused to sustain their human rights for living in an appropriate environment. The economic issues are based on the increasing rate of unemployment and loss of human rights. Increasing unemployment leads to maximize financial hardship and poverty. 

Laws or policies that have negative impacts on this group

Gender Equality Act 2020 has not had the positive effects of women of aboriginal communities because in a number of workplaces they are affected with racial discrimination and gender biases. Besides, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 limits their power as it mentions that for every social activity, the aboriginals need to take permission from Government (Legislation, 2020). 

Social discrimination faced in everyday life 

Due to ancient stereotypes and prejudices, the aboriginal Australians are facing social marginalisation and oppression in their daily lives. In the words of Romano (2018), racism, gender harassment as well as lack of access to medical treatment opportunities. Loss of economic feasibilities leads to family breakdown. 

Ways through which the members are portrayed in media and culture 

The individuals of this community are portrayed as the backward caste in Australian culture. In support of this statement, Diller (2015) mentioned that some ancient types of beliefs and prejudices still isolate the aboriginals and their cultural aspect has not got a base to be explored. In the media, the aboriginal community in Australia is portrayed as being primitive, violent and devious (Aquino et al. 2018).

IV. Describing own beliefs, opinions, perspectives or attitudes

I believe that lack of political support and huge social isolation is the reason for unbearable conditions of aboriginals. In this regard, my opinion is that implementation of human rights legislations needs to be strong enough which may secure common rights of aboriginals (Sharma, 2019). It can be mentioned that the perspectives of equal rights must be protected which will eliminate negative biases and prejudices regarding existence of aboriginals in Australia. There are critical requirements of social workers who can be able to lift up the position of this community (Bliss, 2015).

Origin or beliefs and opinions 

According to me, my beliefs regarding aboriginals have developed by going through different articles and scholarly papers about them. Besides, I have come across some aboriginals few days ago and knew their social positions. Besides, I have studied a number of media sources such as newspaper articles, from which I have gathered immense knowledge about this backward community. Hence, I am able to express my opinions regarding current social conditions and mode of functions to bring them back to proper social identity. 

Types of messages regarding the community 

While growing up, I have received plenty of information about this community from my family, school and online media. For example, I have gained knowledge regarding aboriginals’ origin from one of my relatives. Apart from this, during school, I acquired information regarding the barriers that are faced by this community in Australian politics and society (Bliss, 2015). Then, when I became able to analyze media, I have come to know that Government has not taken any effective initiatives to protect rights of aboriginals in Australia. 

Social factors and forces to develop stereotypes and prejudices 

Portraying as the backward community, the aboriginal individuals are deprived from social opportunities. Hence, their social isolation status has made be develop stereotype such as lack of constructive education among aboriginal individuals. Additionally, lower rate of employment and family breakdown have developed the prejudice in me that the aboriginals have no critical sense related to maintenance of their position in Australian communities. 

V. Stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices on managing social work practices 

In order to be engaged in social activities with aboriginal individuals, the Stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices may impact on social work practices through the following ways-

  • Barriers of communication 

Due to having differential cultural background and different social identify, I may feel hesitated to work with aboriginals. In this regard, sharing IFSW ethical standards will be necessary (IFSW, 2020). 

  • Lack of cultural understanding 

Lack of cultural understanding may create a barrier for effective decision making. 

  • Sharing common views

Differences in decision making pattern and differences in cultural background may prevent me to collaborate freely with the aboriginal individual during social work. Ethical standards of AASW must be followed thoroughly (AASW, 2020). 

  • Lack of maintaining a specific plan 

Communication gap may prevent us to follow up a specific plan for managing social activities in Australian aboriginal communities. 

Stereotypes to be address 
Key objectives 
Key activities 
Required time 
Violent nature and alcoholism 
  • To study the history of aboriginal origin 
  • To analyze the pattern of community behavior and group activities 

  • In order to study about aboriginal origin with nature, I need to consult different Government websites such as UNSW Sydney
  • Community behavior can be studied by addressing their natural instincts with face to face communication 

6 months 
Ancient type of cultures 
  • To increase the level of communication with aboriginals 
  • To develop effective work relationship with them

  • I need to maintain direct communication with the aboriginals by visiting their communities

6 months
Lack of willingness to come into the light of civilization 
  • To analyze their social status and collective social image 
  • To have an idea regarding Government initiatives for developing their social identity 

  • Relevant journals and online articles need to be considered for analyzing the aspects that are developing common instincts of stereotypes among Australians 
  • The journals can be International Social Work and Australian journal of rural health

3 months
Frequent family breakdown 
  • To understand family transition pattern 
  • To evaluate the effects of external factors on the family functioning 

  • I need to maintain direct communication with the aboriginals by visiting their communities
  • Reviewing different social barriers faced by this community in Australia 

2 months

VI. Planning for addressing stereotypes and prejudices 

Table 1: Planning for addressing stereotypes

(Source: Developed by author)

Thus, it can be mentioned that for addressing the stereotypes and prejudices regarding Australian aboriginals, it is necessary to develop a direct interaction with them as well as studying different literary sources that will be critically effective to know in depth.