Ch4 Social Justice

Ch4 Social Justice - 2/15/2009 Social Justice and Civil...

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2/15/2009 1 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK: BECOMING A CHANGE AGENT Social Justice and Civil Rights 1 ´ Hurricane Katrina (2005) New Orleans, LA ´ Matthew Shepard (1998) Laramie, Wyoming ´ James Byrd Jr. (1998) Jasper, Texas 2 ´ The top 1% of American Households earn 40% of all income ´ Middle class incomes have remained stagnant over the past 30 years, while those in the top 1% of earners has increased by 450% ´ 13 million children (more than 17%) and 47 million people are uninsured ´ The African-American infant mortality rate is more than twice as high as that of whites. 3
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2/15/2009 2 WHAT IS SOCIAL JUSTICE? ´ Social justice refers to the level of fairness that exists in human relationships. ´ Most of the issues that social workers confront are directly or indirectly related to a lack of social justice, or injustice. 4 INJUSTICE CAN BE DEFINED AS: ´ “coercively established and maintained inequalities, discrimination, and dehumanizing, development- inhibiting conditions of living (e.g., slavery, serfdom, and exploitative wage labor; unemployment, poverty, starvation, and homelessness; inadequate health care and education), imposed by dominant social groups, classes, and peoples upon dominated and exploited groups, classes and people” (Gil, 1998, p. 10). 5 SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL WORK ´ Social justice is important to social workers because many of the issues that confront the majority of social work clients, including poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, inadequate health care, and unequal and inadequate education, exist due to injustices in the social, political, and economic systems. 6
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3 ´ Social Work’s Mandate for Social Justice The National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics requires social workers to address issues of social justice. 7 ´ Social justice is one of the six core values listed in the Preamble of the Code of Ethics. It states: Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. 8 ´ "Clients" is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. 9
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course SOCW 200 taught by Professor Brethwaite during the Spring '10 term at George Mason.

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Ch4 Social Justice - 2/15/2009 Social Justice and Civil...

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