Deconstructing Racism: Anti-Racism Awareness Training and Social Workers

Part of the Practical Social Work book series (PSWS)


Conscientisation (Freire, 1970), as the processes individuals use to make connections between the social relations they personally perpetuate through their attitudes, values and behaviour and the social positions they hold, is an essential feature of anti-racist social work. White people’s innermost concepts of positive selfhood rest on a fragile sense of being non-oppressive. Becoming conscious or aware of the processes whereby they personally collude with institutional racism can make them feel extremely uncomfortable with and dispirited by the realisation that they are playing the role of oppressor. They are more likely to experience this and feel guilty if they are oppressed along some other social division themselves.


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© British Association of Social Workers 1997

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