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The problem of professionalism: how White social workers enact Whiteness in their work with people of refugee background

Vincent, K ORCID: 0000-0003-0211-1890 2022 , 'The problem of professionalism: how White social workers enact Whiteness in their work with people of refugee background' , Qualitative Social Work , pp. 1-16 , doi: 10.1177/14733250211067719.

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Abstract

Within Australia, Whiteness is embedded within social work, requiring us to turn the lens in on ourselves as a profession. This article presents research data exploring how Whiteness is enacted within the practices of White Australian social workers who work with refugee arrived communities. Eight social workers with experience working with people of refugee background participated in this multimethod qualitative study. Data was analysed using a critical approach to narrative analysis. Participants told narratives of how their Whiteness was enacted through their powerful positions within relationships with clients. The reported experiences of social workers in this project also relate to the pressures, desires and often failures to be professional, as it is defined within White Western social work. The findings suggest that to disrupt Whiteness, we need to challenge the need for professionalism when working with people of refugee background. It is argued that this could be achieved through a focus on relationality, dialogue and two-way care.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Vincent, K
Keywords: Whiteness, refugees, social work, professionalism, narrative analysis
Journal or Publication Title: Qualitative Social Work
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISSN: 1473-3250
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/14733250211067719
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2022 The Author(s)

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