Interrogating the colonial past: The conflicting history of social work as a human rights profession

María Inés Martínez Herrero, Prospera Tedam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The evolution of social work as a human rights profession is rooted in a legacy of struggle against a supremacist ideology that legitimized colonialism with its fascist and racist character. Social work is often understood as promoting social change, the emancipation and liberation of people. Indeed, this chapter will highlight how many early framers of human rights in social work were anti-colonialists who asserted humanistic values that upheld the dignity and equality of all people. While this is true, there appears to be resistance to acknowledging and remembering the professions' complicity with processes, practices, and systems which destroyed people, places, and prospects through colonization, oppression, and subjugation. The chapter addresses this part of social work history, too.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDecolonized Approaches to Human Rights and Social Work
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages43-58
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031330308
ISBN (Print)9783031330292
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 12 2023

Keywords

  • Colonization
  • Decolonization
  • Racism
  • Social work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences

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