Practitioners must be Careful about Blaming Oppressed People for their Troubles (Gitterman, 1996)

This was for a course but I think we can think this one through together.

In Gitterman’s (1996) description of the Life Model of Social Work Practice, he states, “Practitioners must be careful about blaming oppressed people for their troubles” (p. 389). In light of this statement, how do you think he would perceive the arguments made by Rank (2011) and Miehls (2011) about the effects of poverty and race? Would he agree with their positions, or would he view their work as blaming? Write a short paragraph (4-5 sentences) to share your thoughts.

My Answer: Overall, Rank (2011) recognizes that socioeconomic status has a correlation to specific environmental quality’s (Rank, 2011).  Rank (2011) puts forth that that those with lower socioeconomic status can be harmed by poor environmental features of a person’s life. Which leads me to believe that Gitterman (1996)  would agree with Rank (2011) due to the fact that one can not blame an individual for the environment in which they develop. Similarly, Miehls (2011) describes how People of Color have long been seen as inferior due to their physical characteristics (Miehls, 2011). Because physical characteristics are something one can not change about themselves, I believe this view would alline with Gitterman’s (1996). This is due to the fact that Gitterman (1996) emphasises that practitioners must be aware of the holistic nature of life and Natural environment and biology of a human which symbolically affects individuals.

Your Answer in the Comments!

  1. Thought provoking! Would you say a person has a higher chance of having a positive feedback loop with his/her/their environment…

Published by Gabrielle Francis Conrad-Amlicke, MSW

Advocate for Environmental Social Work & CEO Founder Environmental Social Work LLC

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