Strengths, justice and collective action: what social work and community welfare can offer Australian Indigenous education

McMahon, Anthony (2003) Strengths, justice and collective action: what social work and community welfare can offer Australian Indigenous education. In: McGinty, Sue, (ed.) Sharing Success: an indigenous perspective. Common Ground Publishing , Altona, VIC, Australia, pp. 95-99.

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Abstract

[Extract] Social work and community welfare are professions with a long association with Indigenous Australians, some of it good, some of it bad. But these professions also have traditions of social commitment and social action that reject the status quo when it continues to oppress people. We believe that it is not enough just to understand society; the task is to change it. Three positions drawn from social work and community welfare may be useful for educators. These positions move well away from attitudes of stigma, failure and blame in working with people. We are no longer interested in describing failure but in assisting and achieving success. The three approaches are the strengths perspective, critical theory and social action. Briefly, the strengths perspective is an approach to working with people that rejects problem-based assessment and concentrates on developing the resources individuals and communities possess. Critical theory analyses the unjust historical, cultural and material conditions of our society and its negative impact on individuals,families and communities. Social action emphasises strategies to change these unjust social conditions through consciousness raising, participation, education and collective action.

Item ID: 7452
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-86335-532-2
Keywords: education; indigenous; social work
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This work was also presented as an invited paper to the 2002 Australian Indigenous Education Conference held in Townsville, 2-4 July 2002. The presentation paper can be accessed through ResearchOnline@JCU at the related URL.

Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2010 03:47
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 51%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939901 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 49%
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