Immigrant Groups Come from Collective Power and Privilage Paper

What roles do power and privilege and intersectionality play in the social justice issue you selected for this final assignment?

This discussion question is informed by the following EPAS Standard:

3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

1.he social justice issue I selected was the immigration crisis. According to the council on foreign relations there have been more than one hundred thousand migrants and asylum seekers arriving all across major US cities. According to the latest Custom and Border Protection statistics, more than 2.8 million migrants have encountered border authorities within the last year. By most recent estimates, 11.2 undocumented migrants currently reside within the United States. (Freeman, 2023). Immigration policy reform is needed in order to ensure that migrants are treated with dignity, respect, worth, are meeting their basic human needs and are not being neglected, exploited or taken advantage of. These goals are based around the core values of the NASW. These immigrant groups constantly face little to no representation and living with undocumented status comes with restrictions. Power, privilege and intersectionality most definitely play a role within the immigration crisis. To begin, the profession of social work is tailored towards European Americans and western values, including individualism and autonomy. Therefore, the privilege belongs to the dominant culture. Instantly, immigrant groups are at a disadvantage when interacting with social workers. Most immigrant groups come from collective, group-centered societies that are tied to their beliefs systems and outlook on life. In US society, the dominant cultural group holds a strong belief in the idea that their groups cultural heritage including history, values, language, traditions etc. is superior to others. Due to this, the belief of others cultures being inferior exists as well. The dominant cultural group in society will also impose their own standards and beliefs on the less powerful groups. Ethnocentric monoculturalism is defined by the power or unequal status relationship between groups and it is very present throughout US society. All of these beliefs, values etc. by the dominant cultural group are manifested through different policies, programs, practices, structures and institutions of society. This has created a serious disadvantage for already marginalized groups. Immigrant groups today hold none of the power and privilege. (Sue et al., 2015). In regard to intersectionality, US citizens believe that not all immigrants are alike. Immigrant groups that are described to hold positive characteristics often belonged to privileged groups, defined by their use of English, proximity to whiteness and/or higher occupational status. According to a study done by the Journal of Social and Political Psychology, participants believed that immigrant groups of two or more privileged status would have a higher chance of being an asset for the country as opposed to immigrant groups with mixed or marginalized status. (Savas, 2021). In the end, these immigrant groups need help. As a social worker, one must consider the information at hand and adhere to the core values of the NASW, there is dignity and worth in all people. (NASW, 2021).

2.The role of power and privilege according to Sue, Rasheed, & Rasheed, is the foundation of which this nation was built on and that is the patriarchy even when we read the bible it was men who had all of the assets and women had to marry to gain status(Sue, Rasheed, & Rasheed, 2015). When looking over history and the present time we can see that the events of gender violence run on a continuum. Look at Roe vs Wade, I am not here to offer my personal stance. I am opening up the conversation to do you want someone to decide how you will proceed with your body? The Arizona Coalition defines the framework of intersectionality as it relates to privilege and who is the dominant recipient of such privilege (Arizona Coalition, 2018).When reading the data posed you are made to see the differences in treatment, access, and value placed on the human race as it relates to color. The dominant will have privileges that the non dominant has but not because of a class issue it is directly associated with color (Arizona Coalition, 2018). Therefore, if we can look at gender through the lens of intersectionality of government and reproductive choice Beckman highlight the historical oppression of women and the imbalance of power when it comes to the notion that women are born free (Beckman, 2018).From the time of conception, whether it be a westernized or other countries females are treated as the lesser. When we look at some laws were women are imprisoned for a sexual assault committed against them or the practice of the medical term clitoridectomy but it is female genital mutalation. This is what you would call intersectionality, the intersection between disadvantaged whether it be race, class, and gender it will involve a lack of knowledge, bias, and at times a loss of life. In conclusion, the idea that boys will be boys and girls have differing standards placed on them along with stereotypes says that gender is a social justice issue that permeates throughout society and social workers need to be in the front with policy change and programs that can support the onslaught of gender violence in it’s many forms.

Reflect on a time when you or someone you know felt marginalized by the power and privilege of another person/group. What was the emotional response? How can this awareness of power and privilege improve your social work practice?

This discussion question is informed by the following EPAS Standards:

2: Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

6: Engage With Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

1. In May, my husband was injured in a pretty bad accident involving a mirror which shattered and severed multiple veins in his arm. Unfortunately, we were alone at the time so I had to put a tourniquet on him, then call 911 after because the bleeding was excessive. When the paramedics got there, they didn’t believe that it was as bad as I said it was. It took a very long time to get him to the hospital and I felt like I had to convince them to even take him. When we got to the hospital, the hospital turned him away and told the paramedics to take him to a hospital with a trauma center because they were not comfortable performing the surgery he needed. I felt that because I am a woman, they refused to take me seriously when I told them how extensive the injury actually was prior to putting the tourniquet on his arm and the bandage over the laceration which caused him to go to the wrong hospital and also took over 20 minutes for them to even take him. For this reason, I think this would be an example of being marginalized by the power and privilege of another person/group because of my gender. It felt like, because I am a woman, I wasn’t being taken seriously.

As social workers, we will work with people who have been marginalized by the power and privilege of another person/group. In culturally diverse and marginalized groups, it is common for them to experience microaggressions (Sue et al., 2015). As social workers, we need to be aware of this and have an understanding of how power/privilege can impact people. Awareness can promote better practice, because it allows the social worker to be more culturally competent and pursue social change.

2. Throughout my life I have experienced many forms of marginilization by other groups or people in power however recent events at work have changed how I view systemic justice at the workplace. Thankfully the situation at work does not directly affect me but there has been a definite emotinoal change for me at work. After a two month haiatus a certain employee was cleared to return to our department after multiple sexual assault allegations were found to be inconclusive. Since then another coworker has taken the elad to stand up for here colleague that was sexually assaulted and created a task force to support her as she is forced to work with someone that laids hands on her in an innappropriate manner. I have to say that this whole ordeal has been incredibly stressful for the victim and demoralizing for those of us in open support of her as the victim.

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