Social problems are inherent truths within any society. Developed countries have social problems in the same way that developing countries do. However, in many cases in developed countries, the people who live there do not always now that the problem exists, unless in is right in front of them. This is especially true in Canada. Even though Canada is thought of as one of the best countries in the world to live in, it has its own array of social problems that many do not know about, or simply choose to ignore. The plight of Canada's Aboriginal population is a great example of this. Many of these Aboriginals live in extreme poverty under very tough conditions, but for many of us, especially those of us in the larger metropolitan areas, we do not think about that when we tell people how great Canada is. Within many of these poor Aboriginal communities the people suffer from more social problems than they are equipped to handle. One such social problem that they are afflicted with is alcohol abuse.
[...] Theories which inform social work practice in the north should provide a comprehensive view of the world and an understanding of how the parts fit together as well as enabling the practioners to understand the meanings of particular individual and collective behaviours. As such, an eco-systemic theory base is helpful, as it relies on the practioners attention to the complexity of variables in the physical, social, organizational and cultural environment and requires that attention be paid to how and in what way these variables affect one another in the present over time. [...]
[...] The order perspective has an interesting way of dealing with social problems. For someone who adheres to the order perspective, someone who does not behave in a way typically sanctioned by society, it is assumed that something went wrong during their socialization process, as this is the only way to account for this. Society needs to be weary of these people as they pose a threat to the equilibrium of society. As such, we usually place these people in social institutions in an effort to make them “productive” members of society. [...]
[...] As an anti-oppressive social worker, this perspective should be unacceptable. They cannot blame social problems solely on the individual as there are clearly broader issues at play. This notion that the individual is to blame is based on systems theory that says it is the job of social workers to fix the social problems in society so that it will operate smoothly. The plight of Aboriginals can also be legitimized by using the sub-cultural theory, which attempts to explain social problems on inherent categories like a “culture of poverty.” (Mullaly, 2002: 10). [...]
[...] As a social worker, we are in need of anti-oppressive practices that address the many levels of trauma Canada's Aboriginal have dealt with. As an anti-oppressive social worker, before we can attempt to help, we need to be sure to understand their cultural perspective. For example, understanding how the Aboriginal people look to the Medicine Wheel as a way of learning about the levels of their own consciousness. (Graveline, 1998: 104). Social work is responding to the needs of Aboriginals in Canada. [...]
[...] This essay has studied the social problems that afflict Canada's poor Aboriginal communities. From this we know, from an anti-oppressive perspective, what we will need to do to change to be a social worker responding to the social problem of Aboriginal alcohol abuse/addiction, and it is clear that what has happened to the Aboriginals in Canada is a tragedy, but through the right method they can be helped. Bibliography Armitage, A. (2003). Social Welfare in Canada (4th ed.). Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press. [...]
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