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Anti-racist social work in a 'post-race society'? Interrogating the amorphous 'other'

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Anti-racist social work is at a crossroads: while on the one hand, racial binaries such as black/white, us/other and slave/master can be useful political tools to understand institutional racism, current contexts of multiculturalism raise questions about the continued relevance of race as a category for analysis. 'Newer' forms of racialised identities are emerging that need to be incorporated into a broader conceptualisation of non-colour-based race theory. In this article, these contradictions are explicated through a phenomenological study of embodied reflections on race, ethnicity and self-identity among social work students. Frantz Fanon's 'fact of blackness' provides an epistemic guide to this phenomenological study, providing a multi-layered examination of social work students' experiential accounts of their embodied identities, their colour, race, blackness, whiteness and sexuality and what this means for self-identity. Tentative student discourses provide powerful insights into the urgent need for a radical turn in (re)locating culture and race studies in the social work curriculum.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: August, 2015

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    Critical and Radical Social Work is an exciting new journal that will promote debate and scholarship around a range of engaged social work themes. The journal publishes papers which seek to analyse and respond to issues, such as the impact of global neo-liberalism on social welfare; austerity and social work; social work and social movements; social work, inequality and oppression, and understanding and responding to global social problems (such as war, disasters and climate change).

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