A Critical Examination of Key Assumptions Underlying Diversity and Social Justice Courses in Social Work
Journal of Progressive Human Services
This article examines underlying assumptions of Master of Social Work diversity and social justice courses as sites that embody social work’s dual projects of social justice and professionalization. Through a latent content analysis of course syllabi from 27 US-based social work programs, three key assumptions emerged: (1) social workers are members of dominant social groups; (2) cultural competency and anti-oppression are compatible frameworks; (3) self-awareness mitigates oppression. Findings reflect the reification of dominant culture groups in social work and promotion of individual-level skill development over structural change. Implications and recommendations for social work education and future research are discussed.
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Mehrotra, G. R., Hudson, K. D., & Self, J. M. (2019). A critical examination of key assumptions underlying diversity and social justice courses in social work. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 30(2), 127–147.