Pondering the colour of empathy: social work students' reasoning on activism, empathy and racism

Gair, Susan (2017) Pondering the colour of empathy: social work students' reasoning on activism, empathy and racism. British Journal of Social Work, 47. pp. 162-180.

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Australia is a multicultural society. However, its history of British colonisation has contributed to enduring overt and covert discrimination, racism and black/white racial divisions. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the recipients of ongoing racial discrimination, they are the most disadvantage groups in Australia and they are significantly overrepresented as social work clients. An anti-racist stance is core to social work practice, and some literature has suggested that cultivating empathy can help reduce racism and provoke activism for social justice. In 2014, a classroom-based inquiry exploring barriers to activism extended previous student-centred research exploring empathy and racism. The findings suggest that some students hesitant to commit to action for social justice for reasons including a lack of confidence, and a lack of time and information. Facilitating social work students' confidence, increased understanding of everyday acts of activism and skill development including critical empathy may bolster their confidence and their action for social justice.

Item ID: 43431
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1468-263X
Keywords: racism, activism, empathy, social justice, social work education
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2016 04:11
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440999 Social work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 70%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939901 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 30%
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