Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Department

Social Work

Supervisor

Mirna E. Carranza

Co-Supervisor

Jane Aronson

Language

English

Committee Member

Chris Sinding

Abstract

Using a critical, feminist anti-oppressive framework approach this research study investigated the effects of restructuring on South Asian social workers in mainstream and ethno-specific agencies. This exploratory study examined the experiences of South Asian social workers and how restructuring has played a role in their practices. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five participants. The results indicated that the participants were concerned with 1) increase in bureaucracy and decrease of the social aspect of their work; 2) influence of the Eurocentric foundations of social work and its racist undertones, as well as its implications regarding cultural sensitivity; 3) exercising resistance as a result of the negative impacts of restructuring. The findings demonstrated that the social work profession needs to consider how restructuring uniquely impacts South Asian social workers and their practice. Mainstream and ethno-specific agencies need to consider how increasing bureaucracy and integrating culturally sensitive approaches can be inter-laced with racist undertones. More importantly, these agencies must evaluate how this will impact workers’ practices. Implications for culturally sensitive social work practice and the impacts of restructuring on South Asian social workers and service users are discussed.

McMaster University Library

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Social Work Commons

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