Often, policymakers develop policies in response to a recent societal problem or event. Whereas some societal problems, such as homelessness, unemployment, and poverty, require long-term policy development and refinement, society sometimes demands immediate policy implementation in response to events or problems that proved dangerous for society at large. For example, the U.S. terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent terrorist threats heightened airport security and created item restrictions for airplane carry-on luggage. Over time, policymakers adjusted these policies as the danger appeared less imminent due to the development of other policies. What policies are you aware of that policymakers developed in response to a societal problem or event? Are those policies effective responses to the problems or events? If not, how might you change them in order to make them more effective? For this Discussion, review this week’s resources. Using reputable news and education sources, search for an event that led to the formation of a social policy. Then, consider what changes you might make to the policy that resulted from this event. Finally, think about the role of social work (as a profession and political lobby) in the formation of the policy.
As a social worker, you will often work with clients that are perceived as “others.” This “otherness” often leads to marginalization and barriers or limitations promoted by society and social institutions. Marginalization is arguably the most dangerous form of oppression (Adams, 2013) because it eventually leads to social expulsion and material deprivation. Social work is a unique profession because it empowers those who are affected by the socially constructed barriers and biases that have perpetuated long-standing inequalities. As you begin your work with clients both as an intern and social worker, it is imperative to consider not only the individual (micro) concerns the client brings to the session but the environmental or macro factors that may have either created or perpetuated the concern. You can empower your clients by helping them identify and define the oppression they experienced throughout their lifetime. Social work’s commitment to social justice includes a hyperawareness of the social constructions that are used to limit some groups’ autonomy and viability while supporting others. By Day 3 Post an analysis of the dimensions of oppression and marginalization that might impact your future clients. Be specific in identifying the types of clients with whom you might work. In your analysis, explain how the concepts of multiculturalism, power, and privilege are relevant to social work practice.
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