Social Work as a Democratic Tool: The inclusion of socially marginalized groups in the electoral process
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The democratic deficit in the U.S. becomes strikingly evident as statistics show that only half of the population actually votes in elections. Seeing that many who do not participate in the electoral processes are also generally members of socially marginalized groups then this is an increasing social issue. The effects of this become deepening socio-economic inequalities, greater marginalization and a weakened democracy. This study argues that social workers can contribute to solve this democratic deficit by using social work to reach and include socially marginalized groups in the democratic process of electoral participation. Focusing specifically on San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, I have used qualitative method to interview representatives from non-profit organizations that provide different kind of social service and academic professors from the disciplines of Social Work and Political Science in order to investigate how social work can include marginalized non-voting groups in the electoral process. The result is analyzed together with a theoretical framework built from research on democracy, welfare research, empowerment theory and theories on community practice. The findings show that social work has an important role in creating belonging among these marginalized groups and to bring them into the political process by using social mobilizing and advocacy social work with an empowerment perspective.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 38 p.
Democratic deficit, Socially marginalized groups, Electoral participation, Social work, Economic inequalities, Inclusion, Social mobilizing, Advocacy, Empowerment
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-2458OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-2458DiVA: diva2:656116
Socionomprogrammet, inriktning mot etik och livsåskådning
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law