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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Reappraising the race, class, gender equation: A critical theoretical perspective.

Author: Wilkinson, Doris
Author Background:
Date 6/1/97
Type Journal
Journal Title: Smith-College-Studies-in-Social-Work
Volume/Pages Vol 67(3): 261-276
Subject Matter Gender Issues
Abstract The central thesis of this critical analysis is that racial-self pervade the social structure and political economy and thereby affect consciousness, identity and all forms of relationships including the clinical context. Given this empirically grounded axiom, it is imperative that social workers become cognizant of the dynamic influence of race in practice and in research. Social class and gender are also potent variables in the equation. However, race--especially the Black-White dichotomization--is the principal molder of multiple forms of interaction. Within the clinical milieu, it can result in biased and negative imagery, false comparisons, erroneous prejudgments, deceptive language, and the nullification of the other s identity. Caution must be exercised by clinicians who attempt to structure the racial self primarily as a sexualized entity. Social workers, psychotherapists and other clinicians must understand the far-reaching impact of their self-attitudes, images, personal biases and needs on the therapeutic process. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)