Structural social work critical thinking

According to Bob Mullaly describes social work as the structural social work as a departure from the traditional social work. On the other hand, Steve Hicks approach was mainly anti-oppressive practice which did not comprise traditional modes. According to him, social work is innovative practice which evolves continuously over a long period of time.

How does structural social work impact the role of the individual in the profession?

Before this question is conclusively answered, it is important that the author defines what structural social work means. The term structural social work means the part of social work which focuses on the relationship between the environments. The structural social work is based on the structural significance of the problems which are always personal. It can also be looked at as the impact that the structures of the society may have upon people. Structural social work does tend to exposes the structures in the society that suppresses people in respect to sexuality, gender, ability and race among others.
Therefore, the structural social work impacts the individual in profession through the following ways. First and foremost, we can say that structural social work offers support to the practitioners in forming ethical relationship. The structural social work also act as amoral theory hence instills an individual in a profession with issues concerning the underlying problems causes of social problems both at work and in the society. It also enables an individual in a profession to understand the type of social orders which he/she is required to instill. It also offers direction for the course of action which individual professionals should take. Finally, the structural social work instills in an individual values that are vital for the effective coexistence both in the profession and at work.

Describe a situation where you in hindsight think you may have been oppressive with another person (gender, age, race, bullying).

It was while I was still a high school student. While in school, I used to have a form one student who had been newly admitted in school. I used to call the form one student my son I vividly remember that from that time, I did not wash my school uniform until the time I completed my fourth form. Even my shoes I never polished them leave alone buying the shoe polish. Everything including washing my school uniform was being one by the student whom I called my son. I think to me I was oppressing this form one boy. It was not fare to make him do all the work I have described for me. This was an act of bullying which actually is bad since it entails oppression of the weak or the innocent. This therefore, is the situation where I think I was oppressive to the student.

What strategies will you use as a social worker to maintain an anti-oppressive stance in your work?

The following are some of the strategies which I shall employ in order to maintain an anti-oppressive stance in my work. The first strategy will be to embrace diversity; refers to the presence of diverse work force such as young and old, disable and able among many others. Embracing workforce diversity will enable me to avoid oppression at work be it racial oppression or gender oppression. The second strategy that I can use is creating organizational; culture in which respect prevails upon all the employees and the employers at work. I will ensure that I respect others at work. Empowerment is also another important strategy which I shall apply within the organization. Empowerment entails addressing the imbalances of power between groups in the society or at work. This will prevent me from oppressing others.


Mullaly, R. P. (2007). The New Structural Social Work. U. S. A: Oxford University Press.