‘Don’t put me in a box’ - the social construction of whiteness, migrant’s narrative on identity discourse & social work role in rise of populism: grand challenge for social work

Lewis, E. (2018) ‘Don’t put me in a box’ - the social construction of whiteness, migrant’s narrative on identity discourse & social work role in rise of populism: grand challenge for social work. In: JSWEC Conference 2018, 3-4th September 2018, Canterbury Christ Church University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper will explore the social construction of whiteness and consider the implications of whiteness as the ‘non-defined’ who defines others or perpetuate the concept of ‘othering’ leading to stereotypes and labels that fail to consider individual identity and positive contributions migrants bring to British society. The paper will examine aspects of credible narratives and contemporary debates that establish racial hierarchies (in particular history of British colonialism & current ‘anti-immigration sentiment in Europe and USA) in the ordering of social relationships and role of the media in perpetuating negative migrants’ discourse.

Early literature and experiences of racial classifications which sets boundaries and establish an understanding on who is dominant/marginal, insider/outsider, and privileged/disadvantaged will be considered in particular current globalisation/migration in Europe/worldwide. The paper will consider the impact and role of social work practice in changing or challenging the status quo.

The paper will question why migrants should adopt the dominant cultural value system when what constitutes British cultural values is a debated phenomenon. Individual narrative on identity discourse will be examined while refuting the concept non-white ‘other’ represents all non-white groups e.g. the concept of ‘African’. The paper will consider the importance of individual identity in social work practice while recognising that people have multiple and contradictory identities e.g. gender, race, disability, religion, class and that these identities should be understood in the context they are constructed. The paper will also critique the notion that whiteness always equates to homogeneity and the challenges of this for ethnic monitoring and eligibility criteria in delivery of social work. The paper will look to challenge social work perceptions within neoliberalism agenda and responses to these debates and the grand challenges of globalisation/immigration to date and contemporary challenges.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Public Health, Midwifery and Social Work
Depositing User: Mrs Edith Lewis
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2018 09:03
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2018 09:03
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17693

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00