Literature Review on Advocacy

Literature Review on Advocacy

In this literature review, you will summarise your understanding of these readings – Bateman (1995), Ezell (2001) and Sorensen and Black (2001); and critically reflect on the main points the authors make about “Advocacy” and the experience of advocating for socially disadvantaged and marginalised groups.
1. Write one paragraph summary of your understanding of the main points made in each of the readings.
2. In the final paragraph, add your own reflections on the readings.

Bateman (1995), Ezell (2001) and Sorensen and Black (2001) main points about “Advocacy”

Advocacy, in the most basic terms, means speaking up for the less privileged people in the society. However, based on the ideas of Bateman (1995), Ezell (2001), and Sorensen and Black (2001), advocacy is not just this simplistic. There are many doings that people view as advocacy, which are not necessarily advocacy. Similarly, there is a wide array of subtle activities that constitute advocacy. Different people view advocacy differently depending on various factors such as their profession, family background, and social status. Despite the existence of many different definitions of advocacy and lack of a consensus, all acts of advocacy aim at speaking up for the less fortunate in the society.

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Bateman (1995), Ezell (2001), and Sorensen and Black (2001) admit that there is no conventional definition of advocacy. However, they all emphasize on the fact that advocacy must be geared towards pleading for the case of others. Bateman (1995, p. 1) outlines that the inconsistencies in the definitions of advocacy stem from the development of different models of advocacy in the welfare state. Different people tend to think about acts of welfare differently. For lawyers, advocacy entails representing a client in court. For citizen advocates, advocacy may be concerned with superficially ordinary things such as dressing styles (Bateman, 1995, p. 2). Bateman recognizes the existence of self-advocacy. People do not always plead for the course of others. Sometimes, advocacy may touch on personal struggles. The experiences in advocacy, though fulfilling, are not the best things that the advocates would desire. For instance, being a citizen advocate requires an individual to engage in the everyday things of other people, which at times means relegating one’s personal life. Ezell (2001, p. 6) asserts that the definition of advocacy ought to be more inclined towards behavior as opposed to the intentions held by the practitioner. Advocacy is fulfilled through purposive efforts to make a change on behalf of others or for self (Ezell, 2001, p. 3). Advocates should focus more on the activities of advocacy as opposed to gaining credit for their experiences in pleading for certain cases. Sorensen & Black (2001, p. 1) propose that in reality, everyone has been involved in an act of advocacy even though it is portrayed as a highly complex process. An advocate is someone who represents the interests of other people. Advocacy is fundamentally a very ordinary process of speaking up for the less-privileged people in society (Sorensen & Black, 2001, p. 2). Everyone, regardless of their profession, acts as an advocate in their daily lives.

The readings enabled me to develop major insights in the field of advocacy. The sources indicate major contact points in the practice of advocacy. I believe that advocacy entails speaking up against injustices towards the marginalized or less privileged people in a certain context or situation. The readings, however, differ largely on the specific acts that can be classified under advocacy. Sorensen & Black imply that advocacy is an ordinary day-to-day activity performed by every citizen. Although there are no conventional means of highlighting acts of advocacy, I think that advocacy is indeed a complex process. It should entail more than just pursuing the interests of others. Advocates should show a high devotion towards speaking up for others, including the willingness to drop their personal interests when necessary.


Bateman, N., 1995. Advocacy Skills: A Handbook for Human Service Professionals. 1st ed. s.l.: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Ezell, M., 2001. Advocacy in the Human Services. s.l. Cengage Learning.

Sorensen, H. & Black, B., 2001. Advocacy and Ageing. s.l.:s.n.

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