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Critical Social Work Praxis

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What we think must inform what we do, argue the editors and authors of this cutting-edge social work textbook. In this innovative, expansive and wide-ranging collection, leading social work thinkers engage with social work traditions to bridge social work theory and practice and arrive at social work praxis: a uniting of critical thought and ethical action.

Critical Social Work Praxis is organized into sixteen sections, each reflecting a critical social work tradition or approach. Each section has a theory chapter, which succinctly outlines the tradition’s main concepts or tenets, a praxis chapter, which shows how the theory informs social work practice, and a commentary chapter, which provides a critical analysis of the tensions and difficulties of the approach. The text helps students understand how to extend theory into praxis and gives instructors critical new tools and discussion ideas.

This book is the result of decades of experience teaching social work theory and praxis and is a comprehensive teaching and learning tool for the critical social work classroom.

Contributors

Sobia Shaheen Shaikh

Sobia Shaheen Shaikh is a faculty member at the School of Social Work, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Dr. Shaikh’s community-engaged scholarship works to redress racisms, Islamophobia, sexism, ableism, environmental degradation and other interlocking relations of oppression within universities, non-profit organizations and local communities. Dr. Shaikh brings a critical lens to a range of scholarship which explores the subjectivity and motherwork of women and girls who have experienced intimate partner violence; relocation in northern and rural communities; and the everyday work of parents vis-à-vis individualized education plans in K-12 schools.

Brenda Anne-Marie LeFrançois

Brenda LeFrançois is a university research professor in the School of Social Work, Memorial University of Newfoundland. With twenty-five years of experience as an academic, Dr. LeFrançois’ teaching has focused primarily on social work theory and praxis, critical mental health and qualitative research methodologies. Likewise, their activist scholarship is theory-infused and focuses on psychiatrization, sanism and anti-sanist praxis, from mad studies, anarchist and critical childhood studies perspectives. They have published widely on these and related topics.

Teresa Macías

Teresa Macías is an associate professor in the School of Social Work, York University. Her scholarly interests include transnational human rights regimes, poststructuralism, decolonial thought and social work education. She has done research and published on a diversity of topics, including human rights policies in Latin America, truth and reconciliation commissions, state compensation policies, nation-building, torture, issues of representation, critical pedagogy, neoliberalism in social work, research methodology and research ethics. Dr. Macías came to Canada from Chile as a political refugee.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price

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An introduction to the book. Topics include Understanding Theory – The Importance of Praxis – Organization of the Book – Pedagocial Uses ; ; 10 $1.00

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This chapter describes some of the key tenets of Marxism, followed by criticisms. The primary focus is Karl Marx’s own writings; when other Marxists are referred to, this is made explicit. ; 10 $1.00

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This chapter explores how Marxist praxis enriches social work practice and obligates social workers to stand in solidarity on the side of service users, working people, and the exploited and … 24 $2.40

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In seeking to endorse and amplify the previous two contributions, this short commentary focuses on three main issues: capitalism and the deterioration of social work; capitalism, poverty and … 7 $0.70

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This chapter explores structural social work theory; its origins, tenets, and application. It outlines Carniol (1992)’s six elements that embody structural social work theory and the … 14 $1.40

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This chapter argues that structural social work theory could be used to combat the issue of homelessness and specifically help homeless Indigenous people. The authors were part of a research team … ; 21 $2.10

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Commentary on previous chapters, descriptions of the concept of the ecosocial framework in structural social work practice and its implications, and some questions for critical thought. ; 6 $0.60

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Human rights are commonly seen as an important part of social work’s value base, yet the understanding of human rights is often simplistic; the author argues tha social worker should better … 11 $1.10

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This chapter reflects on the place of human rights in social work theory. The author uses a human rights angle to explore and reflect on social work’s role in what she call a cold genocide … 18 $1.80

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Commentary on the previous chapters, personal anecdotes, and some questions for critical thought. 6 $0.60

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This chapter outlines the tenets of anti-oppressive practice theory and how it differs from other social-justice-based theories. It also looks at critiques of this theory. ; 12 $1.20

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The author explores her belief that AOP theory alone does not produce effective, sustainable results in the elimination of oppression and oppressive practices; rather, she argues that without the … 15 $1.50

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. 7 $0.70

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This chapter discusses feminist theories by using intersectionality as a method to organize these theories using a diversity of lenses, some contradictory and others not. By so doing, the author … 12 $1.20

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The author explains/explores Creative feminist practice– or what she calls feminist ARTivism– which she argues is a crucial way to foster joy, connection and meaningful social change; … 19 $1.90

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. 8 $0.80

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This chapter explores the tenets of Indigenous approaches to social work practice. It touches on FRAMEWORKS ROOTED IN AN INDIGENOUS WORLDVIEW, HISTORIES OF SOCIAL WORK INTERVENTIONS IN INDIGENOUS … ; ; 14 $1.40

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The author discusses Indigenous social work, having spent her life engaged in Indigenous social services in Toronto and having witnessed the rise of the phenomena of “Indigenous social … 21 $2.10

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. 6 $0.60

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This chapter focuses on the ideas of Michel Foucault (1926–1984), a preeminent French philosopher and historian well known for challenging the key tenets of Marxism and structuralism and … 13 $1.30

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The author draw on excerpts from her study of the social relations of community-based research to illustrate what a poststructural analysis offers to community-engaged praxis. Poststructuralism … 19 $1.90

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. 6 $0.60

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The author identifies the challenge that racism poses for social work as a profession with a stated commitment to social justice. Badwall argues that crt frames race as a social construction and … 12 $1.20

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In their praxis chapter, Sulaimon Giwa and Leslie Bagg apply a CRT lens to the analysis of a program aimed to support men in their process of distancing themselves from gang life. They critically … ; 21 $2.10

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. In her commentary, Delores Mullings argues that social work needs to critically engage with racism in general, and with … 11 $1.10

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Whiteness studies, as June Ying Yee and Gary C. Dumbrill observe in the theory chapter, is an evolving transdisciplinary field that emphasizes not only the socially constructed nature of … ; 11 $1.10

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In this chapter, the authors reflect and share their experiences in their distinct roles of advisor and advisee on a master of social work thesis titled: “Increasing Awareness of Racial … ; 22 $2.20

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. 8 $0.80

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Drawing on on the hope and commitment of postcolonial and decolonial scholars, Teresa Macías’ chapter in this section offers a roadmap to the fundamental debates among the studies of … 17 $1.70

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Building on the non-violent philosophies of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, Paul Banahene Adjei proposes that social work can no longer ignore oppression and violence, particularly … 19 $1.90

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. Absolon advocates for a decolonizing approach which wakes people up from what she calls a “colonial coma” through … 8 $0.80

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Barbara Waterfall’s theory chapter builds on her experience of incorporating Anishnabec prayer and the teaching of Elders to argue that Indigenous spirituality is not only theoretical and … 13 $1.30

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Siham Elkassem and Sobia Shaheen Shaikh’s praxis chapter illustrates how an anticolonial, anti-racist and intersectional approach to narrative practice can help social workers meet service … ; 17 $1.70

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. Amponsah closes this section with a commentary on some of the tensions between spirituality and religion in social work … 6 $0.60

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The concepts that Cameron Greensmith introduces in the theory chapter may be particularly helpful to students who are entering these fields of studies for the first time. Through a survey of some … 12 $1.20

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Fritz Pino builds on the theoretical foundations Greensmith offers and proposes a praxis approach to working with racialized and immigrant trans communities. Pino provides an important discussion … 14 $1.40

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. Michele Fairbairn argues in her commentary that queer and trans theories are congruent with social work and, in fact, can help … 7 $0.70

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Chapman explores how critical disability studies destabilizes traditional social work conceptions of disability as deficit, oppression, marginalization and/or biomedical deficit in order to … 13 $1.30

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Marilyn Dupré’s praxis chapter advances social work’s agenda of engaging with critical disability studies by proposing a social work praxis that centralizes disability as a … 15 $1.50

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. The author suggests that a critical disability approach to social work must respect the autonomy and self-determination of … 7 $0.70

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Brenda A. LeFrançois and Christine Peddle introduce major theoretical, community and activist foundations of the field of mad studies. LeFrançois and Peddle argue that mad studies … ; 16 $1.60

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Ameil Joseph makes a distinction between the practices of self-identification enacted by mad people and the technologies of differentiation imposed on them by mental health systems and by the … 16 $1.60

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. 6 $0.60

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This chapter explores the tenets of Anarchism and the benefits of social anarchist social work practice. The author chooses ideas from different anarchist tendencies and attempts to conceptualize … 20 $2.00

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This chapter details what an anarchist social work practice might look like. The author reviews relevant theory while focusing on specific aspects of social work that reflect an anarchist … 19 $1.90

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. 6 $0.60

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Jeffery argues that the ideas we hold about nature are not intrinsically natural. Rather, they are informed and constructed by culture, politics and history. As a result, social work … 11 $1.10

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In the praxis chapter, Macías tackles the issue of environmental social work education and proposes a thought experiment that challenges us to interrogate taken-for-granted conceptions of … 20 $2.00

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Commentary on previous chapters and questions for critical thought. Sobia Shaheen Shaikh reflects on the troublesome ways in which the environment has been taken up in social work and how the … 8 $0.80