Social Justice and Career Development Practices Dr. Nancy Arthur University of Calgary firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Sandra Collins Athabasca University email@example.com
Outline Heather What is social justice? Issues for counselling practice Culture-infused counselling Ethics notes Research (preliminary data) Perceived barriers Vignettes
Heather A single mother of three children aged 2, 5, & 7 Need to work two jobs Experiences financial hardship (low SES) Was diagnosed with depression Has a history of family violence
What is Social Justice? Brainstorm the words that come to mind when you think about social justice
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC) If the people involved are not equal, they will not receive equal shares. Concerned with political distributive justice People got the goods they deserved, not necessarily those they needed People were not viewed as being equal
Hobbes (1588 - 1679) Every man against every man, this is also consequent; that nothing can be unjust. Viewed humans as antisocial and driven by basic instincts A just society needs to be governed by the state State will create laws to preserve the peace and to restrain individuals
Marx (1818 - 1883) When people receive what they need based on their humanity and not on their social class, social justice will be achieved. Opposition to Hobbes Stressed social equality People are defined by social relationships
Rawls (1971) Social justice implies that persons have an obligation to be active and productive participants in the life of society and that society has a duty to enable them to participate in this way. Concerned with distributive justice and equality Synthesis between liberalism and socialism
Bell (1997) ... full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure (p.3).
Young (1990) Justice should refer not only to distribution, but also to the institutional conditions necessary for the development and exercise of individual capacities and collective communication and cooperation. Under this conception of justice, injustice refers primarily to two forms of disabling constraints, oppression and domination (p.39).
Its More Than Resources Social justice as the elimination of institutionalized domination and oppression (Young, 1990) Beyond mere distribution of benefits Valuing self-development and self- determination for everyone.
Counselling Notes Influence on development of client issues Impediments to personal development How client issues are defined Off track, on track = whose track? What resources are made available to whom What interventions are chosen
Recent Observations Instruments of the status quo Contributing to cultural oppression Recognition of cultural impact of oppression vs. active stance Coping model vs. changing sources of oppression Was Heather served well?
Social Justice Activities Involve advocacy related interventions that address issues of self- determination, social responsibility, and the equitable distribution of opportunities and resources in our society. Helping clients challenge institutional and social barriers that impede academic, career or personal-social development (Lee, 1998).
Culture-Infused Counselling (Arthur & Collins, 2005) The conscious and purposeful infusing of cultural awareness and sensitivity into all aspects of the counselling process and other roles assumed by the counsellor. Cultural awareness of self Cultural awareness of other Culturally-sensitive working alliance
Culture and Social Justice History consistently links social injustices to cultural characteristics of members of non-dominant groups. Nationality, ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, class, ability, and so on. The perpetuation of difference is fundamental to the maintenance of privilege.
Culture and Counselling Culture is defined broadly Culture is both visible and invisible All counselling is multicultural in nature Culture has the potential to affect all aspects of the counselling process Infusing cultural awareness (of self and other) optimizes client satisfaction
Counselling and Social Justice Applying a lens of social justice optimizes client success and changes the conditions that create client distress Examine social structures beneath and around people that perpetuate power differences and make an effort to ameliorate social inequities What is the point and purpose of counselling if it cannot deal with fundamental issues of injustice that adversely impact clients?
Lets Talk About Power Examine power disparities Explore external influences How we frame client concerns Introduce social justice themes But what if clients dont bring it up? Responsibilities for addressing oppression, privilege, social resources
Levels of Intervention Individual and group Coaching clients Acting on behalf of client Advocacy for groups Organizational change Social and systemic change Designing programs
The Challenge If counsellors are not prepared to address social justice How can we expect clients to advocate on their own behalf?
Research Notes Diversity and Social Justice Competencies of Career Development Practitioners Canada and Australia What is social justice? What competencies support social justice? Gaps = importance of social justice vs. current level of social justice competencies Practice examples Barriers to social justice activities
Social Justice and Career Development Survey (Prelim. Data) www.socialjusticeresearch.ca 86 participants so far: 80% from Canada, 20% from Australia 86% women 4% reported experiencing a physical disability and 3% a cognitive / psychological disability
Social Justice and Career Development Survey (Prelim. Data) Forms of Discrimination Experienced 51.1 20.9 62.7 17.4 18.6 20.9 Percentage
Social Justice and Career Development Survey (Prelim. Data) Familiarity with Social Justice 6.5 21.0 5.2 52.6 Percentage 14.4
Defining Social Justice What it is. Social justice as it relates to career practice would be assisting and empowering those who may have been, or are, discriminated against, for example, based on religion, race, sexual orientation, gender etc, to be able to enter the workforce equipped to deal with and/or overcome the affects thereof. Also, advocating on behalf of clients to assist them in reaching their fullest potential and enhancing their socioeconomic status.
Defining Social Justice What it is. Social justice is ensuring that no one is discriminated against and that opportunities and justice are equal for everyone. This should include fairness and honesty with immigrants before they leave the country, accountability and support when immigrants arrive (language training, assistance with credential recognition, assistance with navigating professional associations), assistance with job search, fair treatment from employers at interviews and on the work place, and a work environment that promotes a culture of learning supported financially and in policy.
Defining Social Justice: The dilemma Career practitioners often face ethical dilemmas such as whether or when to become an advocate. In other words, for example, do we counsel the worker with a physical impairment to avoid applying for jobs where he might encounter prejudice, or do we advocate for employment on his behalf? Do we advocate on his behalf, or teach him how to represent himself?
Defining Social Justice I am very unfamiliar I'm afraid since I do not know enough about social justice, I am uncertain how it would relate to the career practice
Social Justice and Career Development Survey (Prelim. Data) Asked to share their perspective on the importance of social justice to career development practice generally Asked to share the degree to which they personally felt competent 5-point scale from very low to very high
Social Justice and Career Development Survey (Prelim. Data) Attitudes related to social justice Importance of social justice: Rated highest: Believe in the equal worth of all people (M=4.89) Rated lowest: Recognize the impact of discrimination on career development based on religion (M=4.16)
Social Justice and Career Development Survey (Prelim. Data) Attitudes related to social justice Competence level: Rated highest: Believe in the equal worth of all people (M=4.29)