‘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

Conference paper


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.
AuthorsLewis, E.
TypeConference paper
Description

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.

Year2018
ConferenceJSWEC Conference 2018
References

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Powell, J. A. (2017) Us vs them: the sinister techniques of ‘Othering’ – and how to avoid them. Online: https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/nov/08/us-vs-them-the-si... Accessed on: 2nd September 2018
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Wiener, M.J, 2013) The Idea of “Colonial Legacy” and the Historiography of Empire The Journal of the Historical Society, 13, (1), pp1-32
Wilson-Hunt, J.(2018) ‘Us versus them’- How immigrants are portrayed by the British Press. Online: https://agorathinktank.org/content/us-versus-them-how-immigrants-are... Accessed on: 31 August 2018

Publication process dates
Deposited09 Oct 2018
Completed04 Sep 2018
Accepted04 Sep 2018
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/88x17/-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

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