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Understanding racism in Finland: A qualitative study on social workers’  interpretations of racism
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. University of Helsinki. (Master of social work and welfare)
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Abstract The thesis examines Finnish social workers’ understandings of racism. The research task is to view how professionals understand racism as a phenomenon, how they perceive social work’s role in relation to racialization and racism and how they understand the complex relationship between race and gender in the Nordic context. The data consists of two focus group interviews and three indepth interviews conducted with child welfare professionals. Qualitative content analysis is used as an analysis method. Anti-racist social work and intersectionality are presented as a theoretical framework in the thesis. Anti-racist social work is part of the tradition of anti-oppressive theory, where societal power structures are raised to the centre of attention. Race is understood as a socially constructed power hierarchy enabling privileged and oppressed positions. The concept of intersectionality refers to the similar nature of all power structures, where all forms of oppression are understood as mutually constructed. The findings suggest that racism is infrequently recognized in social work practices. The dominant approach in Finland emphasizes cultural competence, while the importance of anti-racism remains scarce. The gender equality discourse is especially strong in relation to immigration. Immigrant women are often portrayed as victims of their culture, and gendered violence is explained through culture. The thesis suggests that racism is rarely accounted as a cause when viewing problems in racialized families. Combining anti-racism and intersectionality while reinforcing critical reflection on social workers’ stance and privileges is proposed as a method for improving social work practice. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 60
Series
Studier i socialt arbete vid Umeå universitet : avhandlings- och skriftserie, ISSN 0283-300X
Keywords [en]
institutional racism, racialization, anti-racist social work, intersectionality, culture, culturalization, privilege.
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-163866OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-163866DiVA, id: diva2:1358000
Educational program
Master in Social Work
Presentation
2019-06-12, 13:01 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-12-03 Created: 2019-10-06 Last updated: 2019-12-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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