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Issues » 2018/3 - Critical Perspectives in Social Work »

Michal Kozubík, Alena Kajanová, Lucie Kozlová

Ethnic Approach in Social Work with Social Excluded Groups and Critical Social Work Alternatives


Abstract:

GOALS: The research article seeks the answers to two questions: “Do the negative traits ascribed to the Roma by the majority result from their culture, or does the reason consist in social exclusion? Is it important for social workers to learn to know traditional Roma culture?” METHODS: When searching the answer to the first question, we used the method of Grouded Theory. The research of traditional Roma culture was implemented in form of ethnographic research inspired by the thick description method. The first part of the research took place in 2006–2012 in segregated Roma settlements of the Poprad District (Slovakia). We made interviews with more than 100 respondents. The second research, implemented in 2013–2017, included more than 50 inhabitants of settlements. RESULTS: The socially pathological phenomena present in the environment of marginalized Roma communities constitute a typical characteristic of reproduced social exclusion. IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL WORK: The Roma are the only ethnic minority considered a target group of social work. We consider the ethnicizing approach in social work an obsolete and mistaken concept. Therefore we suggest focusing on the issues of resolving the poverty and social exclusion, not the so called “Roma issue”, which has a pejorative undertone.


Keywords:

ethnic approach, critical social work, Roma, social exclusion




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