① Why I Chose Social Work Essay

Wednesday, September 08, 2021 7:49:33 PM

Why I Chose Social Work Essay



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Why I chose to major in Social Work

Their political activity, whether it is storming down busy city streets in hoodies and balaclavas, or suited up and feigning respectability at their political conferences, has real-life consequences for people who are not white. If all racism was as easy to spot and denounce as white extremism is, the task of the anti-racist would be simple. But racism thrives in places where those in charge do not align themselves with white extremist politics.

The problem must run deeper. We seem to think that true racism only exists in the hearts of evil people. We tell ourselves that racism is about moral values, when instead it is about the survival strategy of systemic power. When a large proportion of the population votes for politicians and political efforts that explicitly use racism as a campaigning tool, we tell ourselves that such huge sections of the electorate simply cannot be racist, as that would render them heartless monsters. The covert nature of structural racism is difficult to hold to account. It slips out of your hands.

Thinking of the big picture helps you see the structures. Structural racism is dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of people with the same biases joining together to make up one organisation, and acting accordingly. Structural racism is an impenetrably white workplace culture set by those people, where anyone who falls outside the culture must conform or face failure. In the same year I decided to no longer talk to white people about race, the British social attitudes survey recorded a significant increase in the number of people who were happy to admit their own racism. This is what structural racism looks like.

It is not just about personal prejudice, but the collective effects of bias. They are almost certainly the kind of people who set workplace cultures. They are unlikely to boast about their politics with colleagues or acquaintances because of the social stigma attached to holding racist views. Their racism is covert. It manifests itself in a CV tossed in the bin because the applicant has a foreign-sounding name.

Racism is woven into the fabric of our world. This demands a collective redefinition of what it means to be racist and what we must do to end it. T here is much evidence to show that your life chances are impeded if you are black in Britain. Between , the Department for Education found that a black schoolboy in England was three times more likely to be permanently excluded from school, compared to the whole school population. Black school leavers were less likely to be accepted into a high-ranking Russell Group university than their white counterparts.

In , a study by the Department for Work and Pensions found that applications for jobs to a number of prospective employers were not treated equally: applicants with white-sounding names were called to interview far more often than those with African- or Asian-sounding names. Despite this, many insist that any attempt to level the playing field is special treatment. Quotas introduced to balance unequal representation are usually bitterly contested.

Quotas have been suggested in many sectors, from politics to sport and theatre, and they are always followed by a backlash. In , the National Football League introduced measures to address the lack of black managers in American football. When a senior coaching or operations position became available, teams were required to interview at least one black or minority ethnic person for the job. This was a shortlist requirement only. Teams were under no obligation to hire that person. Neither was it enforcing an all-black shortlist, or a rigid percentage target. The Rooney rule was implemented a year after it was introduced. In those years, 12 new black coaches had been hired across the US, and 17 teams had been led by either a black or Latino coach, some even in quick succession.

In British football, as of , the statistics were pitiful. Still, the thought of implementing the Rooney rule in British football sent the nation into a spin. Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, introduced plans to develop a pool of black top-flight coaches instead, and called the Rooney rule unnecessary. The way it was spoken about, you would have thought that the FA was asking club owners to walk into their local supermarket and offer their highest-level jobs to the first black person they saw in the vegetable aisle. In , the English Football League put forward proposals to make implementation of the Rooney rule mandatory.

The Premier League chose not to entertain the idea — even on a voluntary basis. In , a London School of Economics report called for gender quotas in all senior public and private positions. But when it comes to race, the language is much less definitive. Instead of quotas — the progress of which can be easily statistically measured — the solutions posed are vague. In , the head of Ofsted suggested that a programme of positive discrimination be applied to teaching recruitment, stressing that the ethnic mix of teachers in a given school should reflect that of its pupils. The group formed a line and started goose-stepping up and down the floor.

My parents decided it was time to go. The affinity of a few Portland police officers for Nazis has since surfaced publicly from time to time. But what strikes me about the basement story is not the sedition so much as the reckless innocence. It's one thing to play Nazi with your friends; it's another thing to do it at a party in front of strangers, one of whom happens to be a Jewish lawyer. There's a thread that runs through the police-officer goosestep, the Hour Church of Elvis, and "Portlandia.

Portland weirdness is cultural deviation that mutates along specific lines because it doesn't encounter any friction. This is a different kind of ferment from the generativity of a crossroads like New Orleans or Philadelphia. For a while, Portland was the cultural equivalent of the Galapagos Islands, a place where you could see new species of weirdness arising from uniformity and isolation. Weird is not necessarily bad. The coexistence of these various subcultural pods within the same park was due mostly to the psycho-geography of empty space. Alberta Park is nearly 17 acres. Each pod could spread out without bumping up against the next one. It's hard to say how much of this is Portland specific and how much is the persistent lure of the West, the vacuum of unclaimed space that sucks up all of the country's random dreams and puts them on parade.

The westward stream of covered wagons never really stopped. Yesterday it was oxen fording the Columbia; today it's the broken-down Winnebagos squatting beneath I-5 and the Ram ProMasters, full of van-lifing millennials hashtagging their way up the Columbia Gorge. I wasn't in Portland for the George Floyd protests. Watching them from my home, in Washington, DC, Trump's actions in Portland seemed both criminally irresponsible and tactically astute. What looked at first to be extreme and unconsidered measures succeeded in provoking his enemies into discrediting themselves.

In Portland, this took the form of what Brownback called "antifa," a small group of committed radicals who set fires and break windows in the pursuit of unattainable, and often unarticulated, goals. Their targets have ranged from jails and police union headquarters to the county's Office of Community Involvement, where doors were smashed and curtains set on fire. Whatever cause these actions were intended to serve wasn't helped by the smashing of the glass doors at the entrance of the Oregon Historical Society. When Portlanders talk about the protests today, Trump's success at fraying the city's progressive coalition is evident. They don't want to fully disavow the violence committed by the extreme edge of their own side, even as they suffer the consequences.

So they look for someone to blame, other than the protesters themselves — hypothetical false-flag provocateurs, city officials who were either too harsh or too lenient. I too can twist myself into knots when considering the violence. Some of the most effective actions carried out by the Vietnam-era protest movement, like the burglary of the FBI's office in Media, Pennsylvania, involved property destruction.

But the almost random cycle of lawbreaking in Portland accomplishes little beyond alienating the very residents most inclined to support the protests. Setting aside the question of whether an insurgency might somehow be justified, this is not how you win at insurgency. Today, much of downtown Portland remains boarded up. What was once the city's priciest and most central district is now a magnet for the homeless. When my father goes into work downtown, he passes a small tent city he jokingly calls "our little village. On one of its boarded-up windows, there is a poster of a burning building, along with an exhortation to build a new order from the ashes of the old.

Portland remains a beautiful place. Its two politically fraught afflictions — protests and mass homelessness — are in the city's foreground, highly visible and possibly temporary. Looming in the background is climate. More than people statewide were killed by this summer's record-setting heatwave; one elderly man was cooked to death in his old metal camper, parked on treeless asphalt. As with most Portlanders, he had no air-conditioning. My parents spent those days at home, surrounded by fans.

At one point we had trouble reaching them by phone. It turned out they had taken refuge inside an air-conditioned movie theater. My mother used to run our Sunday School. One of the teachers was Jenn Louis, who went on to found three Portland restaurants and write cookbooks. Since last November, Jenn has made regular trips to the homeless camps around her neighborhood, loading up her Volvo SUV with food, clothes, and camping supplies.

During the winter, she was going out every day. It was too much to sustain. By the time I showed up in July she had pared her schedule back to twice a week. I went out with her twice, listening in as she chatted up her regulars and gently prodded them to get vaccinated. She listened to stories of enemies setting one another's tents on fire, or slipping someone a "hot shot," adulterated heroin intended to kill them. She treated everyone the same way, whether or not they had mental health issues, or drug problems, or bench warrants, or appeared to be in the midst of committing some crime.

Everyone was encouraged to take as much as they wanted, as long as there was enough left to complete the day's run. What is most striking about Portland's homeless encampments is their volume, their apparent permanence, and the obviousness of the city's hands-off approach, which one could characterize as either compassion or fear in the face of impunity.

In , tent camping on city sidewalks was officially legal for a few months; whatever rules against it that might exist now are not being enforced. You can park a trailer on a residential street, replace the wheels with cinder blocks, surround it with wooden pallets to create a sort of yard, and not have to worry about much intervention from the authorities. Some blocks near downtown appear to be open-air chop shops for bicycles and automobiles. For years, the city has treated homelessness as a social issue to be addressed not as a form of blight, but with social services and pathways to housing.

The size of the local homeless population has reportedly remained steady over the years, but the share of public space occupied by encampments has increased dramatically. The city has responded to the new enclaves by offering even more services — needle exchanges, dumpsters, Porta Potties. Hundreds now live in city-funded "villages" and "pod communities," some with tiny winterized houses.

This compassionate, hands-off approach has posed a challenge for Portland's liberal bourgeoisie, many of whom would prefer not to live amidst the visible consequences of their own policy preferences. Just off Pacific Avenue, a few blocks from Jenn's home, a middle-aged man asked for some t-shirts and underwear. His pick-up truck still ran, and it had a camper in back.

He had been near Paradise, California for the beginning of the wildfires in , and he told us what he'd learned from his escape. Have a Plan B. Don't wait for those fools to tell you to go. They don't know shit. The man asked Jenn what was causing the current heat wave. She gave a quick gloss on the feedback loop of the heat dome. Hot air pushes away cooler weather systems and begets more hot air. It was one of several feedback loops: heat turning forests into tinder; wildfires transforming that dry wood into carbon dioxide, heating the planet, drying out the land, and begetting more wildfires; fear-based Hobbesian politics driving stupid decisions which degrade the environment, leading to more fear-based politics.

Jenn's project could be considered an attempt to break the latter cycle. One summer, during the year of my mother's 70th birthday, my family drove five hours to the town of Sisters. We'd rented a house on the dry plains of Central Oregon, at the same dude ranch where we'd vacationed together 30 years before, going on hikes and horseback rides. There were several days on that trip when the sky was thick, low, and gray with smoke. It was unclear how much we should change our behavior, or what the health effects of those decisions might be. Mostly, we stayed inside. I remember my mother standing alone at the window, looking out at the sky. I don't know what she was thinking.

My parents are stoics. They don't talk much about the changes they're living through, in the place they grew up in and will stay, it goes without saying, for the rest of their lives. They don't see place as a liquid commodity. They're lifers, with their fortunes hitched up, for better and for worse, to Portland's. There is a version of this story where I would tell you that Portland was once good and is now bad. This particular chapter explains to us the different roles that a Social Worker must take on in order to be successful in their career. This chapter also gives us the different values and guidelines that they must follow to ensure that they are performing their job appropriately.

If I were to become a Social Worker, then I would have to be able to take on these different roles and follow the guidelines to be successful. According to Zastrow , some of the roles include, but are not limited to, educator, empowerer, public speaker, and so on p. As an educator, they must teach their clients skills that could be used to help in whatever situation that they may be going through. As a social worker I feel it is important to help, informed and provide any necessity a person needs for them to become more successful in their lives and that is what Introduction to Social Work taught me. I want to be able to make changes in somebody life that they will carry with them for the rest of their….

My personal interest in social work is the desire to create change for those who are less fortunate and providing a voice to making change. Admitting me into…. Melding these backgrounds with the history, experiences, and expectations of U. When there is understanding and not misunderstandings between the two parties a relationship can develop.

From there the established needs can be…. I believe the social work profession consist of a coalition of individuals who are dedicated to a particular cause. The social work profession is implemented solely through the core values. Social workers join the profession with aspirations to create positive changes in conglomeration with core values to uphold the highest standards. Generally, the social work profession appeals to the interests of persons, who are subjected to life experiences or witness negative environmental factors in the lives of other individuals. The motivation overshadows career ambitions that lead social workers to serve a population of interest that have a variety of professional divisions.

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