Moving beyond the "double bind": Indigenous language and culture learning as an emancipatory project

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Abstract

Challenges to the way social work in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia is practised are currently emerging from critical and postcolonial questioning (Besserab, 2000; Briskman, 2003; Gilbert, 2001). The shared heritage has led to a set of practices which owe much to modernist views of the world leading to universalist approaches. While this is changing, bicultural and cross-cultural practice continues to present difficulties for practitioners who struggle to position themselves in ways that meet the requirements of appropriate and sensitive cultural work. This paper argues that in order to create appropriate practices the social work profession needs to perceptively assess how it uses knowledge practices from a continuing neo/colonising project. Using the notion of "double binds" (Ellsworth, 1997), I examine some of the influential practices associated with the ostensible bicultural and cross-cultural pursuit. I draw on research conducted with social work practitioners to demonstrate how the neo-colonial process may be countered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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