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3.11 Ethnic matching

As Robinson acknowledges, effective practice in inter-ethnic communication is fraught with difficulties and dilemmas. It has been suggested that communication may be assisted by appointing health and social care workers from the same ethnic background as patients and clients and that this promotes greater understanding between care providers and users (Papadopoulos et al., 1998). The next activity provides an opportunity to explore some of the issues surrounding ‘ethnic matching’.


Author(s): The Open University

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3.10 Working with difference

If ‘racial’ or ethnic differences are produced as part of a process that ‘racialises’ certain groups as ‘other’, how should services respond to the issue of difference? What practical steps can service providers take to ensure all members of the population, whatever their assumed ethnicity, have equal access to services and can participate fully?

Lena Robinson is a psychologist and social work educator who has written extensively on issues of cross-cultural communication for
Author(s): The Open University

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1.1 Introduction

Historically, one of the most significant changes over the past hundred years has been the move away from large families living and remaining in one community to smaller family units that are required, through the economic necessity of employment opportunities, to be as mobile as possible. Extended family networks are often weaker: in many instances parents are unable to call on the support of children's grandparents, aunts and uncles, and for some people parenting can be a very isolating and
Author(s): The Open University

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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness that the words ‘care’, ‘welfare’ and ‘community’ have a wide range of social, cultural and historical meanings.


Author(s): The Open University

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Introduction

The unit you are about to study is exciting and stimulating. Working with adults in the community is changing at a pace that can sometimes feel bewildering. Practitioners are being asked to review what they are doing in a critical way and to adopt new approaches. For example, the word ‘community’ is one that we all use quite readily and is at the heart of many social work policies. However, we tend to take it for granted that everyone means the same thing when they talk about a com
Author(s): The Open University

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2.2.2 Treatment regimes

As well as asylums which housed people with mental illness and learning difficulties there was a turn towards a style of mass provision generally.

Development of special schools for disabled children began in 1750 when the first private schools for blind and deaf children were opened in Britain. The earliest public institution, run on a charitable basis, the London Asylum for the ‘support and education of the deaf and dumb children of the poor’, was opened in Bermondsey, south Londo
Author(s): The Open University

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1.4 On being an insider and a researcher

The two roles of practitioner and researcher are not always easy to combine. Sometimes it's difficult to detach yourself from situations and stand back when you know you've been a part of practice which you've begun to see differently. On the other hand, being an insider can bring some advantages. How did Howard Mitchell deal with these two roles?

Click on 'View document' below to read Howard Mitchell's piece on 'The inside researcher'

1 Crossing boundaries: a case study

A number of situations put a strain on the idea that caring is just an extension of 'being ordinary'. These include times when people are giving intimate care. Since the normal rules do not apply in these circumstances, we have to develop a set of special rules to guide practice, thinking very carefully about the core question: 'How can boundaries be respected in situations where intimate care is being given?’'

This question will be explored through a fictional case study set in a res
Author(s): The Open University

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1.4.1 Sexism

Let us leave the emotive word ‘sexism’ to one side for a moment and look at what Beveridge actually said about the place of women in his scheme and the kind of reasoning he used. He gave considerable attention to the position of married women:

The great majority of married women must be regarded as occupied on work which is vital though unpaid, without which their husbands could not do their paid work and witho
Author(s): The Open University

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3: The five giants

At this point let us examine the idea of the ‘five giants’ (Want, Ignorance, Disease, Squalor and Idleness). Beveridge, remember, was not just writing about income protection; he had a vision of social reconstruction and social progress. The five giants represented the key areas of need for all of us – the areas where we should pool resources to tackle our needs collectively (see the box below).

Author(s): The Open University

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1.2.3 Did Beveridge wear blinkers?

Activity 2: Who isn't mentioned?

0 hours 10 minutes

Jacobs singled out several groups who were not covered by the insurance scheme. They include:

    <
    Author(s): The Open University

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1.2.2 Problems with implementation

Writing a report is one thing – getting it implemented as policy is another. In the full version of An Introduction to the Beveridge Report, Jacobs (1992a) makes clear that there were a number of departures from the blueprint when the Labour government came to steering the legislation through parliament. One was a move to greater generosity. The report had recommended that the new pensions should be phased in over a period of 20 years to allow people to build up their contributions.
Author(s): The Open University

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1.2.1 The Beveridge report

The architect of much of this reform in the field of social welfare was William Beveridge. His report entitled ‘Social Insurance and Allied Services’ was compiled as the war was at its height (Beveridge, 1942). In it Beveridge set out a plan to put an end to what he called the ‘five giants’ – Want (today we would call it poverty), Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness (unemployment). The centrepiece was a state-run system of compulsory insurance. Every worker, by contribut
Author(s): The Open University

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2: Moral dilemmas

It is clear from the account of Jim and Marianne's lives that they need some help. But do they deserve help? Some of our course testers had very strong reactions to the inclusion of drug users in a course about health and social care. Here is one typical response:

I am not sure that Jim and Marianne and people like them deserve this sort of attention. Their problems were self-inflicted. It must have cost someone (w
Author(s): The Open University

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References

Ariès, P. (1976) Western Attitudes Towards Death, Marion Boyars, London.
Cartwright, A., Hockey, L. and Anderson, J. (1973) Life before Death, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.
Dinnage, R. (1990) The Ruffian on the Stair: Reflections on Death, Viking, London.
Fenwick, P. and Fenwick, E. (1996) ‘The near-death
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1.4.13 Defining a ‘good death’

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1.2.8 Caroline

Caroline’s experience was rather different. She was brought face to face with death when she was involved in a fatal car accident. Her friend who was driving at the time was killed outright whilst Caroline escaped unhurt. She found the reality of this difficult to assimilate and felt a sense of guilt.

For a long time after the accident – several months – I kept replaying it over and over again in my mind and
Author(s): The Open University

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1.2.7 Margaret

Margaret was in her thirties when she learnt she had breast cancer. Some three years later, after the removal of the affected breast, she was leading a very busy life working full-time at the Open University, studying part-time for an OU degree and running a family. Fitness activities such as jogging and various sports had become very important in her life. She was also very involved in cancer research fundraising activities. She described the impact of her brush with death in this way:


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1.8.1 The experience of Hillsborough

We have explored the challenges of entering into situations which are ambiguous and open to competing interpretations. But what happens in a situation where nobody knows what is going on, where established meanings have collapsed altogether? Tom Heller gives a graphic account of such a situation in his description of his experience of the Hillsborough football stadium disaster.

Click on 'view document' below to read Tom Heller's account of his experiences at Hillsborough.

Author(s): The Open University

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1.6.4 Difficult communications

Audio: click below to listen further to Dev's visit to the Durrant's home.

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