Critical Consciousness : An Understanding Of Power, Empowerment, And Oppression

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Critical Consciousness According to Lum (2007) critical consciousness “is a process through which people come to an understanding of power, empowerment, and oppression. Developing critical consciousness is a two-step process that involves learning to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions and action against oppressive elements”. Experiences throughout life assist in the multiple identities that people have. It is important to “understand people through their construction and enactment of their multiple identities” (Lum, 2007, p.48). In order to understand the diversity of a person, social workers need to: 1. Approach every interpersonal helping practice relationship with an awareness of who you are as a cultural self and what you have to offer as a helping person. 2. Equalize the power relationship between you as the professional worker and the client as the vulnerable individual so that you both become persons in the eyes of the other. 3. Find out what is similar and common between you as the worker and the person as the client and affirm the similarities and commonalities. 4. Explore the differences between the worker and the client, respecting and learning from them, and incorporate these unique features in the relationship. 5. Address the multiple identities of the client and relate them to your multiple identities as the worker, understanding where they came from and how they are formed in the beings of two people. 6. Understand and respect how each

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