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The problem of professionalism: how White social workers enact Whiteness in their work with people of refugee background

Citation

Vincent, K, The problem of professionalism: how White social workers enact Whiteness in their work with people of refugee background, Qualitative Social Work pp. 1-16. ISSN 1473-3250 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2022 The Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1177/14733250211067719

Abstract

Within Australia, Whiteness is embedded within social work, requiring us to turn the lens in on ourselves as a profession. This article presents research data exploring how Whiteness is enacted within the practices of White Australian social workers who work with refugee arrived communities. Eight social workers with experience working with people of refugee background participated in this multimethod qualitative study. Data was analysed using a critical approach to narrative analysis. Participants told narratives of how their Whiteness was enacted through their powerful positions within relationships with clients. The reported experiences of social workers in this project also relate to the pressures, desires and often failures to be professional, as it is defined within White Western social work. The findings suggest that to disrupt Whiteness, we need to challenge the need for professionalism when working with people of refugee background. It is argued that this could be achieved through a focus on relationality, dialogue and two-way care.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Whiteness, refugees, social work, professionalism, narrative analysis
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Cultural studies
Research Field:Multicultural, intercultural and cross-cultural studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Vincent, K (Dr Kate Vincent)
ID Code:148792
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Social Work
Deposited On:2022-02-09
Last Modified:2022-04-20
Downloads:0

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