What is reflection and why is it important?

• Cover reflective points outlined in Driscoll’s 2007 model within the Chapter 2 reading above (do not use these points as headings)

• Be 500 words long (+/- 10%)
• Scholarly references do not need to be included

  • SOWK910AssessmentOneGuidelinesandRubric_24.docx

  • MorleyAblett2017.Risingwealthandincomeinequality-aradicalsocialworkcritiqueandresponse.pdf

  • PardeckMurphyChoi1994.Someimplicationsofpostmodernismforsocialworkpractice.pdf

  • Valentich2010.Findingonesownidentityasafeministsocialworker.pdf

  • Feministsocialworkarticle.pdf

  • RamsayBoddy2017.Environmentalsocialwork-aconceptanalysis.pdf

  • Postmodernnewarticle.pdf

  • Radicalsocialworkarticle.pdf

  • Eco-socialWorkinActionAPlaceforCommunityGardens.pdf

SOWK910 Assessment One Guidelines

The benefits of reflective writing include enabling you to learn from your experiences, develop understanding as to how your experiences relate to the wider academic context, allow you to demonstrate the inclusion of evidence-based practice and scholarly resources, and to assist you to present your ideas clearly and structure your writing logically. Before writing your reflective journals, please ensure you read Tanguay, E., Hanratty, P., Martin, B., 2020. Chapter 2: What is reflection and why is it important? In Reflective writing for nursing, health and social work. Macmillan Education Limited, London.

Each Journal Entry written for Assessment One must:

· Cover reflective points outlined in Driscoll’s 2007 model within the Chapter 2 reading above (do not use these points as headings)

· Be 500 words long (+/- 10%)

· Scholarly references do not need to be included

· Use first person voice.

Due date

Topic

Journal Entry 1

Week 3 – Friday 22 March 2024 11:59 PM

In Workshop 1 you completed the “Reflection on Self-Assessment Activity”. Write about your experience completing that activity and the learning you gained from it.

Journal Entry 2

Week 7 – Friday 12 April 2024 11:59 PM

Review the AASW Practice Standards (on the Moodle Site). Pick one area that you feel is important to social work practice and how you would integrate this Practice Standard into your own practice with vulnerable peoples.

Journal Entry 3

Week 9 – Friday 3 May 2024 11:59 PM

Pick one theory that you have learnt about in SOWK910 (Postmodernism, Feminism, Radical Social Work OR Eco-Social Work) and write about how you will integrate this theory into your own practice with vulnerable peoples.

Journal Entry 4

Week 11 – Friday 17 May 2024 11:59 PM

Across the semester you have engaged in various activities as part of a Self-Care Curriculum. These activities have included readings, videos and embodied activities. Write about how you have engaged with the Self-Care Curriculum in SOWK910, which aspects you found useful in developing your social work identity, and how you plan to enact self-care in your career as a social worker.

SOWK910 Assessment One Marking Rubric

Criteria

Fail (0-49%)

Pass (50-64%)

Credit (65-74%)

Distinction (75-84%)

High Distinction (85-100%)

Self-assessment is reflected throughout the journal entries, including prior and current learning (eg. the student discusses their previous understandings and compares it to their current understandings).

There is no evidence of self-assessment, including no evidence of discussion of prior and/or current learning

There is some evidence of self-assessment, however there is limited discussion of prior and/or current learning

There is clear evidence of self-assessment, with adequate discussion of prior and/or current learning

There is clear evidence of self-assessment, with strong discussion of prior and/or current learning

There is clear evidence of self-assessment, with in-depth discussion of prior and/or current learning

Critical thinking and writing is evident about the socio-political-cultural context of the student’s social work studies and social work practice (eg. the student raises issues of socioeconomic status, gender, race, culture, justice, poverty etc).

There is no evidence of critical thinking and writing, including the socio-political-cultural context of the student’s social work studies and future social work practice

There is some evidence of critical thinking and writing, however there is limited discussion of the socio-political-cultural context of the student’s social work studies and future social work practice

There is clear evidence of critical thinking and writing, with adequate discussion of the socio-political-cultural context of the student’s social work studies and future social work practice

There is clear evidence of critical thinking and writing, with strong discussion of the socio-political-cultural context of the student’s social work studies and future social work practice

There is thorough evidence of critical thinking and writing, with in-depth discussion of the socio-political-cultural context of the student’s social work studies and future social work practice

The writing style is reflective and critical in nature, including using first-person voice.

There is no evidence of a reflective and critical writing style, including using first-person voice

There is some evidence of a reflective and critical writing style, including using first-person voice

There is some evidence of a reflective and critical writing style, including using first-person voice

There is consistent evidence of a reflective and critical writing style, including using first-person voice

There is consistent evidence of a reflective and critical writing style, including using first-person voice

The content is in line with social work ethics and professional conduct (including spelling, punctuation, grammar and word count).

The content is not in line with social work ethics and professional conduct (including spelling, punctuation, grammar and word count)

The content is largely in line with social work ethics and professional conduct (including spelling, punctuation, grammar and word count), although there are minimal examples present; and/or is not +/- 10% of the word limit

The content is largely in line with social work ethics and professional conduct (including spelling, punctuation, grammar and word count), although there are some strong examples present; and meets +/- 10% of the word limit

The content is consistently in line with social work ethics and professional conduct (including spelling, punctuation, grammar and word count), with minimal exceptions; and meets +/- 10% of the word limit

The content is consistently in line with social work ethics and professional conduct (including spelling, punctuation, grammar and word count), with no exceptions; and meets +/- 10% of the word limit

,

6 VOLUME 29 • NUMBER 2 • 2017 AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND SOCIAL WORK

ORIGINAL ARTICLE THEORETICAL RESEARCH

AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND SOCIAL WORK 29(2), 6–18.

Rising wealth and income inequality is an increasing global concern and, given its broad social impacts, a core priority for social work. Radical social work, with its commitment to redressing structural disadvantage, can lead social work in this endeavour through its capacity to analyse the social, economic and political contexts that produce wealth and income inequality, and formulate socially just responses.

The article begins by outlining the key tenets of radical social work, briefly noting some comparisons between Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand contexts that have created the conditions for a resurgence of radical social work. The international context of wealth and income inequality is then discussed and compared with the current situations in both countries. This article discusses why the

renaissance of radical social work is vital to informing broader social and community sector responses to wealth and income inequality, particularly through offering: 1) a critical analysis of society that links privately experienced problems with social structures; 2) a radical social work curriculum; 3) a form of critical self-reflection that is cognisant of the impact of social structures and also of practitioner agency to respond to social problems; 4) a capacity to influence social policy for socially just outcomes; and 5) collective and activist practices for social change.

Radical social work in contemporary contexts

Radical social work aims to combat oppression and proactively work with socially marginalised individuals, groups

1 Queensland University of Technology, Australia 2 University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

Rising wealth and income inequality: A radical social work critique and response

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Wealth and income inequality is increasing in most societies, including Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, with detrimental social impacts. However, despite professional marginality, the renewal of radical social work critiques with their emphasis on structural issues highlight, the need for alternative practice responses.

METHOD: We employed a critical and synthetic review of the literature to examine major trends in wealth and income inequality (both globally, and in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand) and the social work responses to increasing economic inequality.

CONCLUSIONS: Resurgent wealth and income inequality has reached new crisis points in both countries but individualising analyses and programmes render most social work responses complicit with neoliberal governance. These responses do little to reduce inequality. Alternatives promoting economic equality can be found in radical social work approaches.

IMPLICATIONS: At a minimum, effective radical responses to economic inequality must advocate critical social analyses in social work education and practice, including fostering practitioners' capacity for critical reflection, policy practice and political activism.

KEYWORDS: inequality; radical social work

Christine Morley1 and Philip Ablett2

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Christine Morley [email protected]

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and communities to promote a more equitable, democratic and ecologically sustainable world. Writing in the early 1990s, Fook (1993, p. 7) asserts radical social work involves: explicitly making the links between people’s personally lived experiences and oppressive structures that shape those experiences; a commitment to challenge the social control functions of social work practice; a critique of social, economic and political arrangements that cause inequality; the goals of emancipation for the people with whom we work; and social progressive change (as opposed to personal adaptation to an unjust status quo). More recent writings suggest a revitalised, contemporary form of radical social work includes a rejection of managerial and marketised practices; a reaffirmation of social justice values in social work; a renewed commitment to social action and collective practices for progressive social change; and an understanding of the imperative for radical practice to be directly informed by critical social theories (Ferguson, 2016).

While some proponents of radical social work suggest that it almost “disappeared” in the 1980s (Ferguson, 2016), a number of commentators are discussing the contemporary revival of radical and critical perspectives in social work, acknowledging the importance and relevance of them now, more than ever before (see for example, Ferguson, 2016; Gray & Webb, 2013; Morley, 2016a; Morley & Ablett, 2016; Morley et al., 2014). Mainstream social work which, in some quarters, has arguably been co-opted by neoliberal, managerial and medicalised therapeutic discourses (see for example, Ferguson & Lavalette, 2006; Gardner, 2014; Madhu, 2011; Rogowski, 2010; Wallace & Pease, 2011; Wehbi & Turcotte, 2007), has paid little attention to the escalating social problems of wealth and income inequality. O’Brien (2013) has warned that, by prioritising professionalisation, registration and managerial practice, social work risks compromising its central historical concerns with poverty and social justice. Neoliberalism and related managerialist

practices have shifted the ideological underpinnings of mainstream social work to become more conservative (Fenton, 2014; Garrett, 2010; Wallace & Pease, 2011). Thus, official statements that claim social work is committed to promoting “social change . . . and the empowerment and liberation of people” (AASW, 2010, p. 7) and “challenging systems and policies that maintain inequity and inequality” (ANZASW, 2014, p. 5), are often reduced to rhetoric, when much of social work practice reflects an individualised, and increasingly psychologised understanding of social problems that reproduce inequality (Mullaly, 2007). This disparity between espoused goals and practice has led a number of social work scholars to question whether social work is “in crisis,” at a “crossroads” (Lavalette, 2011), in a “state of flux” (Dominelli, 1996, p. 153), or has abandoned its mission (see for example, McNicholl, 2013; Powell, 2001; Specht & Courtney, 1994).

Social work in both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand is similar in this regard. Whilst there are parallels and variances between these countries in relation to cultural, economic and social experiences, both share a violent history of colonialisation of indigenous populations, and similar models of social security that developed in the late 19th century, including a “wage earner’s welfare state” (Castles, 1985). Since the 1980s, both countries have similarly experienced aggressive neoliberal reforms that have largely dismantled their welfare states. Neoliberal restructuring has eschewed social (structural) analyses in favour of discourses valorising individual responsibility. Hence the problem of unemployment and poverty has been reconstructed as “a problem of the unemployed” (Marston et al., 2014, as cited in Mays, Marston, & Tomlinson, 2016a, p. 3). The impacts of economic privatisation and social deregulation on people, systems and the environment have caused widespread inequality and related social problems in Australia, New Zealand and other liberal-capitalist societies. These problems, in addition to the marketisation

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of the human services sector and associated managerial practices are among the primary reasons identified for reinvigorating key social movements and collective resistance, including contemporary radicalism in social work (Ferguson, 2016; Ife, 2014).

Radical social work aims to be responsive to people’s expressed needs, but also to challenge and change the social conditions that create social disadvantage and exclusion (Baines, 2011). Given its commitment to reversing structural disadvantage, radical social work has a leadership role to play, not only in analysing the social and economic conditions that create wealth and income inequality, but also in formulating strategies that address poverty and other forms of social disadvantage, using a range of practices that link structural analyses of citizens’ personally lived experiences with the goals of social transformation.

An overview of wealth and income inequality

At this point in our history, global capitalism has generated more wealth and prosperity than ever before, with our world economy now being worth more than US$250 trillion (Credit Suisse, 2015). However, the benefits associated with rising global wealth are not distributed equitably. In fact, the divisions between rich and poor worldwide are “reaching new extremes” (Oxfam, 2016, p. 2). Those officially defined as the poorest citizens in the world try to survive on US$1.90 per day or less, and the total population living on this amount (roughly 800 million people) is about the same as 200 years ago (Roser, 2015). Meanwhile, the richest eight individuals in the world own and control more capital than the poorest 3.6 billion people (Oxfam, 2017), while the bottom 80% of the population access just 6% of the world’s economy (Oxfam, 2016). These profound socioeconomic inequalities have skyrocketed in the last decade, with the wealthiest 10% of the global population acquiring more than half of all income growth, and the richest 1% of the population

obtaining 22% of these rises (Ostry, Berg, & Tsangarides, 2014). In addition, the richest 1% have increased their income by 60% over the past 20 years, with the global financial crisis (GFC) further enabling their monopolisation of wealth (Oxfam, 2013, p. 2). Whilst international comparisons suggest wealth inequalities in Australia and New Zealand are not quite as extreme as some other contemporary capitalist societies, the rates of socioeconomic inequality are rising more quickly in these countries than analogous Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries (Douglas, Friel, Denniss, Denniss, & Morzwetz, 2014).

Indisputable evidence of growing wealth and income inequality in both countries requires urgent action from social workers on both sides of the Tasman Sea. Recent data show that, in Australia, the richest 1% own the same wealth as the poorest 60% (Oxfam Australia, 2014, p. 2). National research demonstrates that “the income share of the top 1% has doubled, and the wealth share of the top 0.0001% (the richest one- millionth) has quintupled” in recent decades (Douglas et al., 2014, p. 8). The richest seven individuals in Australia now control more economic resources than the poorest 20% of the population (1.73 million households) (Richardson & Denniss, 2014). Many people in this bottom 20% rely on the “Newstart” allowance to live, which provides a level of income support that is 20% below the poverty line (Denniss & Baker, 2012). Consequently, approximately one in every six children in Australia now lives in poverty (Douglas et al., 2014).

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the wealthiest 10% of the population now own and control about 60% of household wealth, while the poorest 40% hold just 3% of the nation’s total wealth (Statistics New Zealand, 2016). Similar to the situation in Australia, research also demonstrates that economic inequality in Aotearoa New Zealand has grown rapidly since the early 1980s (OECD, 2011), with the

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evidence suggesting that new, additional wealth is accruing to the already wealthy (Johnson, 2015). Social researcher, Max Rashbrooke (2013) highlights that income inequality also increased in this period to a greater extent than in any other developed economy. Rashbrooke (2013, p. 37) further explains how “the top 10 per cent of New Zealand[ers] … have seen their incomes increase by over 75 per cent between 1986 and 2013”. Race relations and ethnicity, demonstrably amplify this inequality:

In 2003/04, European/Pakeha made up 33% of the over 15s population yet held 93% of the reported wealth. By comparison Maori made up 10% of the same population yet owned 4% of the wealth. Even worse off are Pacific people, who made up nearly 5% of the over 15s population but owned just 1.3% of the reported wealth. (Johnson, 2015, p. 2)

Social research clearly demonstrates the correlations between wealth inequality and a broad range of social problems (see for example, Habibis & Walter, 2015). The impacts of growing wealth and income inequality include: intergenerational poverty; rising crime rates; increasing suicide rates; higher rates of morbidity and mortality; increased incidence and prevalence of violence; and increased mental health problems (Abramovitz, 2012; Wilkinson & Pickett, 2010). In addition, there are also direct links between human-induced climate change, and the disproportionate exploitation of non- renewable natural resources that global capitalism drives (Noble, 2016). Climate change also reinforces the gap between the rich and the impoverished, as the most socioeconomically disadvantaged people in the world are the most affected by the consequences of climate change (Noble, 2016). In highlighting the sense of social division caused by economic inequality, Rashbrooke (Inequality.org.nz, 2013, n.p.) tellingly suggests it causes people to “lose their sense of what life is like for people in the other half”.

Whilst mainstream social work has been slow to respond to these issues (Morley & Ablett, 2016; Noble, 2016), ironically, multi-lateral financial institutions (that have been bastions of neoliberal policy) such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and World Economic Forum (WEF), are leading the appeals to address rising wealth and income inequality. The gap between rich and poor has become so lopsided that it can now slow economic growth and radically decrease political and economic stability (Douglas et al., 2014; Piketty, 2014; Stiglitz, 2014;). According to OECD statistics (2012), Aotearoa New Zealand has a similar Gini score for income inequality (after tax transfers) as Australia, sitting around 0.33 (OECD, 2012), above the OECD average. The IMF demonstrates that a 5% increase in inequality (measured by the Gini Coefficient) causes a corresponding 0.5% reduction in growth annually (Ostry et al., 2014). Recent OECD data similarly indicate that increased economic inequality over the past 25 years has reduced economic growth by 0.35% per annum, a cumulative loss of 8.5% in economic growth (Cingano, 2014). Hence, extreme wealth inequality also poses serious consequences for the wealthy.

The social context

In 20th century western societies, inequalities in wealth and income were managed by the economic and social policies of diverse welfare-state regimes (Habibis & Walter, 2015). These policies were designed to reduce poverty and institute some redistributive measures to avoid contributing to social conflict. The period from the 1920s to the late 1970s has been referred to as the “Great Compression” (Douglas et. al., 2014, p. 38) whereby wealth and income inequalities were reduced in most western nations. During this time both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand were more egalitarian than most countries (Perry, 2013). Since the early 1980s, however, in the wake of various crises and globalisation, there has been a retreat from social provision on the part of nation-states in favour of neoliberal

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market solutions. Today, economic policies in the OECD vary widely in their regulation or liberalisation of market forces and social policy approaches are likewise varied in their targeting of disadvantage (Carson & Kerr, 2014).

In Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, the reduction of economic inequality was achieved, historically, through a combination of labour market regulation and direct social provision. The former was based on a unique system of compulsory industrial arbitration and wage determination (from 1894 in New Zealand; 1904 in Australia) with unions securing a living wage for most male workers by the 1920s (Vranken, 2005, p. 28). The latter involved government welfare measures (funded by progressive taxation transfers), in which Aotearoa New Zealand arguably had a more comprehensive system than Australia. Equity-promoting measures included state education, public health outlay, pensions, anti-racial and anti-gender discrimination legislation, national disability insurance, family services and allowances, and paid parental leave (Carson & Kerr, 2014). However, the past 30 years of economic restructuring has seen a considerable diminution in both industrial regulation and public provision in Australasia, whereas executive salaries and corporate profits continue to rise. This slide into inequality has been justified by liberal (now neoliberal) economic doctrine, particularly among political conservatives, imposing market-driven, private provision for social problems. Insofar as it considers inequality at all, this approach deploys “Kuznet’s curve” (Kuznet, 1955) arguing that long-term economic growth alone will decrease inequality without recourse to redistributive policies.

In liberal-capitalist societies, governments, along with public–private partnerships and non-government organisations (NGOs), are largely responsible for framing social policies. Many social workers practising within this (government and non- government) workforce, within a range of

human service organisations that aim to deliver equity-enhancing programmes and projects are, by extension, responsible for implementing social policies through case management and other practices. Many do not determine the policies but neither are they without agency in the policy process.

Social work responses

Despite a long-standing espoused commitment from social workers to social justice, poverty and economic inequality h

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