Simulating the Other in Social Work Pedagogy: Pathologising the Oppressed through Neoliberal/Colonial Practice Teaching Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract The use of simulated service users or ‘clients’ in social work education has lacked critical analysis in research and teaching. What is often overlooked are attentions to how constituting essentialised clients and simulating them advances historically entrenched forms of injustice in social work education and practice. This gap in research and literature in social work education should signal to the field an issue with the pervasiveness of the hegemonies of biomedical disciplinary knowledge in social work. This gap should also highlight the need to ask how, why and to what end is critical analysis an ongoing omission from a pedagogical practice that is proclaimed as very central and essential to social work practice skills education. This article explores some of these gaps in the literature within the social, historical, and political contexts that shape how neoliberalism/colonialism influence the perpetuation of these omissions in social work education. Specifically, this article explores how the use of client simulation in social work works to reproduce ideas of an innocent professional self and a pathological Other, while ejecting or separating social and political analyses of social problems, marginalising and obscuring critical perspectives, and forgoing attentions to social justice and epistemological nuances within social work.

publication date

  • June 28, 2021