Understanding the complexities of social work practice in two different contexts implies an exhaustive analysis of the disparities and similarities between the cognitive framework, the historical and social associations, and the role of knowledge and expertise in a particular working area. Despite Canada and Colombia belong to the same continent, both countries are immersed in different realities in which Canada is categorized as developed nation and Colombia is considered a developing country. However, globalization has brought similar trends for both countries as capitalism and imperialism are considered the major cause of social problems such as poverty throughout the globe, cross-border immigration, welfare cutbacks, and environmental problems (Dominelli, 2010). This paper will first understand how the socio-economic and political context influences social work practice in Canada and Colombia. Second, the role of social work practice in community development in Colombia will be contrasted with the anti-oppressive practice in social work in Canada. Third and last, this paper will address the knowledge gained and professional contributions from the Canadian social work.
The Influence of Social, Political and Economic factors on the Development of Social Work
Hessle (2000) mentions that socio-political contexts construct “forms of social work practice” and create methodologies and policies that are specific from a particular region (as cited in Gray & Fook, 2004). Payne (1997) also highlights that social work is the result of a social construction in which interventions with clients become a crucial part of the social processes (as cited in Fulcher, 2003). Th...
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...e community. At the beginning of the process, the participation of the people was not relevant, as I was “the expert” on community issues. Indeed, I simply sought to understand how people could fit into our programs (Sallah, 20149), and I did not realize that traditional research has the potential to replicate oppression and inequality (Sallah, 2014). On the contrary, from an anti-oppressive practice view, participatory action research is a powerful tool for social transformation and has the ability to change “oppressed community´s reality” (Sallah, 2014, p. 405).
Unfortunately, a bureaucratic glitch impeded my practice to provide what people demanded and I was unable to produce a significant change. Grofofsky (2012) highlights that community based advocacy practice is fundamental in disrupting systemic inequalities, however, my role as an advocate was limited
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