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|Title:||Dislocating AOP: An Analysis of Anti-Oppressive Practice's Subject Positions|
|Authors:||Young, Katherine Michelle|
|Advisor:||Dumbrill, Gary. C.|
|Keywords:||Anti-Oppressive Practice;social work educators;social justice;Social and Behavioral Sciences;Social Work;Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|Abstract:||<p>Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) has become one of the most influential approaches to contemporary social work practice. Despite its widespread significance it seems that there is confusion, and a lack of consensus, regarding what AOP actually is. This research, therefore, examines how social work educators understand AOP in order to determine what AOP looks like and whether it has since acquired a fixed and defined identity. Data gathered from eleven qualitative interviews with social work educators at three Canadian universities revealed that AOP is understood as having nine core tenets; and yet, AOP is also understood as being a highly fluid and ambiguous epistemology. The research also showed that AOP's fluidity and ambiguity are not weaknesses to be resolved, but rather are intentional and purposeful as they enable it to resist and dismantle dominance, and pursue social justice.</p> <p>AOP's fluidity and ambiguity was theorized as mirroring the fluidity and ambiguity of human identities and identity categories-both resist being fixed and reified, as they are more than the sum total of these parts. In this regard, it is proposed that AOP can be understood as occupying multiple subject positions. Analysis of AOP's subject positions revealed that when AOP tends toward becoming fixed and fully known it becomes co-opted and compromised by structures of dominance and is used as a tool of oppression. In other words, when AOP is definitively located it ceases to be anti-oppressive. It seems, therefore, that we must constantly dislocate AOP through critical dialogue in order to ensure that it is a means of dismantling dominant structures of power and pursuing social justice.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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