By Bill Lee and Mirna E. Carranza
Social work and other human service professions are heavily dependent on language communication. The words and terms we use with the people with whom we work, as well as with each other, and the general public are crucial. A Glossary of Social Justice Perspectives for Contemporary Practitioners compiled by Bill Lee (retired) and Mirna Carranza of McMaster School of Social Work is an important tool for teaching critical thinking and anti-oppressive approaches to social interventions at any level.
Some of the language that has been developed to enable us to discuss the issues of subjugation, oppression, and liberation can seem challenging. This is not surprising when we consider that the issues they are meant to address often involve complex and sensitive issues of power and privilege. Too often, however, the language is experienced as distancing academics from students, and professionals from the people they are supposed to be assisting. For this reason, the editors have compiled this Glossary of Social Justice Perspectives that tend to be utilized in discussions of the issues and practices that are the stuff of anti-oppressive social work.