Respond by Day 5 to at least two colleagues with a critique of their analysis. Explain multicultural considerations your colleagues would need to keep in mind in their social work practice. Specifically, explain how marginalized racial and ethnic groups identified in your colleagues’ posts might perpetuate a marginalized group status. Explain how a marginalized group may identify and adopt the norms of a dominant group. Finally, explain the implications for social work practice. Use at least one scholarly reference in response of at least 150 words each.
Dominant groups can play a large role in marginalizing other groups based on racial and ethnic characteristics in many ways. These dominant groups may not even intend to do so. Many don’t realize that their dominant culture is actively excluding other races or ethnicities. According to Adams, Blumenfeld, Castaneda, Hackman, Peters, & Zuniga (2013), “White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks (pg. 136)”.
A dominant culture (take for example a white culture) can have a very negative impact on immigrants and refugees without intending to. Many dominant cultures have become so accustomed to their own ways that they do not incorporate room for other cultures or races. This could make immigrants or refugees feel isolated and unaccepted, especially if they do not feel comfortable practicing their culture, or are not able to acquire the items or location in which to do so.
Aaron is having a hard time adjusting to the culture in America. Aaron’s parents are making this adjustment more difficult because of their judgments and mockery of his accent and his continued use of his culture’s traditions and customs. Because of the family’s non acceptance of Aaron, he has become increasingly more anxious and depressed.
Referring to Aaron’s rejection by his family, I would sympathize with him, and validate his feelings. I would further investigate as to more specific instances to determine if it were possible that Aaron was interpreting his family’s responses wrong, or if he was being overly sensitive. I would gather details and work with Aaron to create a plan in order to confront his family about their responses and his feelings surrounding such. I would empower Aaron to speak up in a calm and gentle manner when he is feeling belittled or threatened by his family. This way, Aaron’s family would be fully aware of the emotional pain they are causing him.
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zuniga, X. (Eds.). (2013). Readings for diversity and social justice. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Press
Plummer, S. B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Walden International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-Reader].
“Working With Immigrants and Refugees: The Case of Aaron”
Dominant groups play a strong role in marginalizing minority groups whether consciously or unconsciously. For example, Jan Arminio, writes of how as a white woman in college, her and her (white) friends never included their African American across the hall neighbors (Adams, Blumenfeld, Castaneda, Hackman, Peters, & Zuniga, 2013). This likely left those individuals feeling alone and isolated. Feeling alone can either lead to depression or exacerbate any existing feelings.
In the case of Aaron (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014), there were certainly preexisting challenges that Aaron was facing. His parents and brother left him when they immigrated, his brother died very young, and his parents seem uninterested in him. All this is challenging. If, however, Aaron would have established friendships and community in his university experience this could have changed his mental health trajectory. His familial relationship would still be a struggle, but he would have been able to develop other significant relationships. Aaron, being an immigrant and part of a minority group, is likely marginalized at university.
In addressing Aaron’s challenges I would take a cognitive approach. Aaron has likely formed beliefs about himself because of his parents’ views of him. It is important that he reshape his self-image in a more positive way. The reason I would not take a behavioral approach is because he has yet to demonstrate any negative or harmful behaviors.
I would also work with Aaron on his assertiveness. I think he needs to speak openly with his parents about their dynamic. Assertiveness is the ability to speak directly and openly to another party in order to express your own feelings in conjunction with their actions (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). It is important, however, that I am culturally sensitive in encouraging Aaron’s assertiveness. I do not know the parent-child dynamic in Aaron’s culture and if it is one in which children are taught not to speak up to their parents, this will be more challenging.
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zuniga, X.
(Eds.). (2013). Readings for diversity and social justice. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Press.
Plummer, S. B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies:
Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Walden International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-Reader]. “Working with immigrants and refugees: The Case of Aaron.”
Zastrow, C. H., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social
environment (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. 332 – 337.