SOCW 6051 Wk6 Discussion 1
Respond to at least two colleagues with a critique of their analysis. Explain multicultural considerations your colleagues would need to keep in mind in their social work practice. Specifically, explain how marginalized racial and ethnic groups identified in your colleagues’ posts might perpetuate a marginalized group status. Explain how a marginalized group may identify and adopt the norms of a dominant group. Finally, explain the implications for social work practice.
Dominant groups marginalize other groups based on fear. By dominant groups keeping marginalized/ethnic groups down, by perpetuating biases, prejudices, and stereotypes, labels them(marginalized groups) as a subculture which distances “us” from “them” or the “in- group” from the “out- group”. This overt form of prejudice keeps “others” (unlike Whites) oppressed. This attitude, from the dominant group, does not allow ethnic groups to prosper financially, educationally, or socially.
Tatum ( Adam, 2018) discusses not being validated or making a connection with Andrea, her colleague, who is white, because she does not feel her issues would be understood.
So much of American culture is not accepting of the unique and multicultural identities of others nor the struggles of day to day life as a minority in America.
I am going to focus primarily on African- American culture.
Black youth in America have no real sense of African history nor feel a sense of importance to learn it because most of what they are taught is how their ancestors were forced to live and assimilate a culture they knew nothing about, forced to live in Western civilization, separated from Family, forced to live as slaves, and getting no “real” recognition for the contributions that were made, by their ancestors that made this nation great. A form of mentally enslaving Blacks.
Generations later, Black youth are told to “forget the past”, “get over it, slavery has been over for hundreds of years”, but for marginalized groups slavery is not over. Marginalized groups still cannot live in certain neighborhoods, have their kids go to affluent schools, or have opportunities to get out of urban areas.
The dominant group or the 1 % have made sure to keep the gap of success unreachable for those considered undesirable.
The dominant group makes sure marginalized groups stay distracted by putting liquor stores instead of churches on every corner in their neighborhoods, minority’s are sentenced for longer periods of time for petty offenses than their white counterparts.
Education and “Fighting back, taking leadership- as well as coming to understand the historical and social roots of powerlessness” (Adams, 2018, p. 158) among marginalized groups is how this population will become more powerful instead of powerless to oppression.
Aaron’s parents laugh at him continuing his cultural traditions because they have assimilated to western culture and are trying to fit-in to the 1 % .
Aaron too will eventually conform to western culture in order to fit-in, or he will continue to keep his identity and deal with his situation in his own way.
An intervention from a social worker can help Aaron adjust to his new environment in America, find autonomy, self- determination, and self- efficacy.
Aaron, through group therapy, and micro counseling will be able to stop survivors guilt, and express to his parents how he is not being validated as their son and the contributions and sacrifices he has had to make for the Family.
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Catalano, D. C. J., DeJong, K., Hackman, H. W,… Zuniga, X. (Eds.). (2018). Readings for diversity and social justice (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Press.
Dominant groups play a role in marginalization founded on racial and ethnic characteristics by using derogatory language, assuming a person’s accomplishments are not based on merit. Expecting people to act a certain way based on stereotypes held about another’s identity, denying someone academic or professional opportunity based on another’s identity and by not providing equal access to resources bases on membership in a particular group. (Syracuse University Counseling Center, 2019)
Some of the negative impacts of a dominant culture on immigrants and refugees such as Aaron would be Aaron feeling a reluctant to interact with others, poor academic performance, internalization of negative messages, ineffective coping such as avoidance, anxiety and depression.
Racism and prejudice may impact Aarons assimilation by Aaron feeling anger, anxiety, paranoia, fear, depression, self -blame, sadness and frustration, powerlessness, self-doubt, isolation, stress, confusion and feeling invisible and not heard.
I would respond to Aaron when he discusses his family’s rejection of his desire to maintain his cultural roots by explaining to Aaron that just because his family does not approve of his choice to maintain cultural roots that he still has the right to do so and that its natural to feel this way. By Aaron maintaining his cultural roots he will be honoring his Grandparents, which he spent 7 years getting close to after his parents came to the states.
As a multicultural sensitive social worker, I would employ skills such as having a diverse staff. Social workers would have a good understanding of the harmful impacts of marginalization and oppression. I would offer counseling services which may help client’s process their experiences. I would also offer coping skills.
Syracuse University Counseling Center. (2019). Impact of Marginalization. Retrieved from http://counselingcenter.syr.edu: http://counselingcenter.syr.edu/social-justice/impact-of-marginalization.html
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