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ERIC Number: EJ790365
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 9
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-8046
Race, Resistance, and Restructuring: Emerging Skills in the New Social Services
Baines, Donna
Social Work, v53 n2 p123-131 2008
Since the introduction of the first neoliberal budgets in the mid-1980s, Canadian social service workers have had ample reason to resist changes in their work lives. Drawing on literature as well as on themes emerging from an intentionally diverse subset of data collected as part of a multiyear study, this article explores the resistance strategies of female, First Nations social workers and social workers of color in relation to changing work structures and power relations in their workplaces. Given their location in ethnically specific services and programs, racialized workers have been affected differently by restructuring and have, in turn, resisted these changes with different outcomes. Indeed, rather than the deskilling common to the sector, First Nations workers and workers of color have generated new, culturally sensitive practice skills. This article analyzes how the marginalized position of many workers of color and Aboriginal workers has shaped the kinds of resistance strategies they use within their paid and unpaid work in the restructured social services arena. The article explores the issue of unpaid work as an important but contradictory form of resistance among social workers. It concludes with suggestions for teaching and practicing in the new social services.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada