SOCW6051: Discussion Posts 1 and 2

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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.

POST 1 Kimberly

The ignorance of dominant groups plays a major role on how people of marginalized groups are treated in society. The seven-year-old response to being white was, “it’s easier to be lucky if you’re white” and sadly, many grown folks believe this today (Arminio, 2013), p 125). For a long time, I wouldn’t refer to people as white or black, but pink and brown because race and skin color was insignificant to me. Too much as a surprise, my life and thoughts still doesn’t revolve around race. I’m not oblivious that I live in a world, that makes race a forefront of life, but I see people from within regardless of who they are, where they come from, nor their socioeconomic status. The woman in Arminio (2013), story could have easily lead her children to believe yes, you’re white, you’re always going to be right, you’re always going to have it easy, you’re always going to have the best in life, and things will always go your way; if the world had more people like her, who recognized their subtle racism and as they grow older the pervasiveness of racism will threaten their wisdom, and make an effort to change their way of thinking, we wouldn’t be living in such a divided nation (Arminio, 2013).

We’ve been discussing race and mainly the disconnect between black and white race, but in our reading, we also encounter a women’s systemic disadvantage regardless of race—both being women, heterosexual, Christians, sets them apart from men [regardless of race] and other religious believes (Ayvazian & Daniel-Tatum, 2013). While Aaron is a man, he’s an immigrant, refugee, and none-white; therefore, he’s negatively impacted because of what people see on the outside. Aaron works, he’s in college, he’s not an alcoholic nor does he do drugs, so why would he be mistreated because of his culture. Aaron choice to seek help as a man experiencing anxiety and depression and expect to be treated the same as any other based on his situation, not his race. Aaron could have chosen not to speak with anyone and let his situation build up to a point of destruction such as suicide. We see mental health ignored every day and disturbed people going on shooting rampages and then take their own lives.

I can’t begin to say I understand family rejection, but I know it occurs. As a social worker, I would listen intently to Aaron’s story. Just as the counselor did, I would explore Aaron’s culture to better understand and a genogram is a great idea as I gives insight on family history and patterns of behavior. I want to learn what Aaron’s desires are and what he would like to see happen between him and his family. If his desire is to mend a broken heart, they I would first let him know this is a process and a cure will not happen overnight, so he doesn’t expect an instant miracle. I would then discuss everyone’s personal responsibility—sometimes it’s hard to see yourself as a problem. I would then like to help Aaron with changing his mindset and thoughts and slowly move from negative thinking to hope. Broken relationships can be minded regardless of faith, culture, or religion. If Aaron incorporate his faith during our sessions, I would explore that possibility by learning more about what he believes to help him move from the past to a positive future.

My skills as a social worker would involve treating Aaron as a human, not a race or gender. Keep our line of communication open by eliminating any form of judgement and listening effectively and communicating efficiently. I would use my skills of recognizing behavioral patterns to ensure he’s progressing upwards. Remain open to exploring Aaron’s ideas of how he would like to pursue bonding with his family.

References:

Arminio, J. (2013). In Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., &

Zuniga, X. (Eds). Waking up white. What it means to accept your legacy, for better and worse.

(125-126). New York: Routledge Press.

Ayvazian, A., & Daniel-Tatum, B. (2013). In Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H. W.,

Peters, M. L., & Zuniga, X. (Eds). Women, race, and racism. A dialogue in black and white.

(127-133). New York: Routledge Press.

Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year.

Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

“Working With Immigrants and Refugees: The Case of Aaron

Post 2
Jeanie Truesdale

In the case of Aaron, his parents had come to the United States seven years before he was sent for (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). Aaron continued to adhere to his Caribbean heritage, which in turn, had his parents laughing at him and making him feel as if he was not part of the family (Plummer, et al., 2014). The dominant group of “white” groups played a role in marginalizing other groups based on race and ethnic characteristics, as Aaron’s parents were adapting to the dominant group in the United States (Plummer, et al., 2014). Perhaps Aaron’s family felt they needed to fit in so their youngest child was not threatened. Wisdom of children is threatened by persuading them into racism (Aarons, Blumenfeld, Castaneda, Hackman, Peters, & Zuniga, 2013).

The potential negative impact of a dominant culture affects immigrants and refugees such as Aaron, as the immigrants feel as if they need to change. In the case of Aaron, his parents felt that need to adjust and accept the ways of the United States and were not at all helpful to Aaron, who was living out his racial and ethnic characteristics (Plummer, et al., 2014). This was having a negative effect on Arron, as he missed his heritage, his grandmother, and his way of life in the Caribbean.

Racism and prejudice impact Aaron’s assimilation in that it was difficult for him to live in a world he was unfamiliar with. Aaron was becoming depressed, feeling alone, and left out by his own family (Plummer, et al., 2014). Aaron felt rejection, and that his brother was the “chosen” one (Plummer, et al., 2014). Aaron was excelling in his academics, which may have been his way of trying to fit into a new culture, but his parents were not supporting him, and this was causing him a lot of distress (Plummer, et al., 2014).

In responding to Aaron when he discussed his family’s rejection of his desire to maintain his cultural roots, I would, first let him know that I am there to support him. I would learn about his culture, in order to better understand it and help him feel comfortable. Looking for group activities that had other individuals of his ethnic background would also be helpful, in an effort to let him know he is not alone. Offering race pride has been successful among social workers, and that would be something to strive for in the case of Aaron (Carlton-LaNey, 1999). Being of the white race, I would like Aaron to know I am interested in learning and understanding his ethnic background. Taking a look at oneself, it is important to learn other individual’s history, not expect it directly from the client (Adams, et al., 2013).

Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zuniga, X.

(2013). Readings for diversity and social justice. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge

Press.

Carlton-LaNey, I. (1999). African American social work pioneers’ response to need. Social

Work, 44(4), 311-321.

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies:

. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publi Foundation year

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