Critical Self Reflection and Growth Essay
Self-awareness and conscious use of self are critical concepts in social work practice. As social workers, it is important that we continue to reflect on our social identities, experiences and perspectives and examine how these might influence our knowledge and practices. This assessment task is intended to help you reflect on and examine some of your personal views, opinions and experiences and develop a learning and growth plan which might contribute to your professional development as social workers aligned with cultural responsiveness and anti-oppression(i) As we have discussed in this unit, we all have many dimensions of our social identity, e.g. gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, caste, sexual orientation, gender expression, ability status etc. Think about different dimensions of your social identity. Identify dimensions of your social identity that belong to dominant groups within society. For example, if you identify as 24-year old, Australia born, woman, White, lesbian, and able- bodied, you may say that the dimensions of your social identity which belong to dominant groups in society are age (young person), race (White), migration status (Australia born), and ability status (able-bodied).
(ii) Identify a group or community that has experienced historical discrimination, marginalisation and oppression, and towards which you hold stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices that you are willing to change. It is important that you are not a member of the group or community you choose to write about.
(iii) Discuss social, political and economic problems which members of the marginalised and oppressed group have experienced in Australian society. Discuss any laws or policies which have negatively impacted people belonging to this group. What kind of social discrimination do members of this community face in Australia in their everyday lives? Consider how members of this community are discussed and portrayed in media and popular culture. Use specific examples to illustrate your points. Refer to academic sources (peer-reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters) of information to build and support your arguments (Minimum 5).
(iv) Describe and critically examine your own beliefs, opinions, perspectives or attitudes towards members of this community. Think about the origins of your beliefs and opinions. What messages did you receive about this community while growing up, from family, school, friends, and media? What social factors and forces contributed to you developing stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices towards this community?(v) Identify ways in which the stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices that you hold towards this community might influence your social work practice when working with service users (clients) belonging to this community.
(vi) Discuss a plan for how you plan to address the stereotypes, implicit biases or prejudices you have identified. What is/are the objective(s) of this plan and what activities would you undertake? Be specific and realistic. For example, educating yourself through reading may be part of your growth plan. However, to simply say that you plan to read is too vague. Identify specific readings and discuss how you think that reading will help you learn and grow with regard to challenging and addressing the stereotypes and biases you hold. Also, reading is just one of many possible ideas; think critically and creatively.