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  1. 1. Empowerment Pup 2171 Linda Moss
  2. 2. Power <ul><li>Power is an ever-present phenomenon in social life </li></ul><ul><li>In all human groups some individuals have more authority or influence than others </li></ul><ul><li>Groups themselves vary in levels of power </li></ul><ul><li>Power and inequality tend to be closely related </li></ul><ul><li>The powerful are able to accumulate valued resources such as property or wealth </li></ul><ul><li>Possession of such resources is in turn a means of generating power </li></ul><ul><li>(Giddens 1993 in Thompson 1998) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Privilege <ul><li>Do certain social groups or individuals have more privileges? </li></ul><ul><li>What are these groups or who are the individuals? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the privileges? </li></ul><ul><li>How does privilege relate to discrimination? </li></ul>
  4. 4. People who are not privileged are devalued <ul><li>Menace </li></ul><ul><li>Object of ridicule </li></ul><ul><li>Burden </li></ul><ul><li>Sick </li></ul><ul><li>Eternal child </li></ul><ul><li>Subhuman creature </li></ul>
  5. 5. 4 Levels of Power <ul><li>National and World </li></ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational </li></ul><ul><li>Individual </li></ul><ul><li>The way power is used is important not that it exists </li></ul>
  6. 6. Oppression <ul><li>Unjust humanly imposed restrictions on people’s freedom (Jaggar 1983 in Nzira and Williams 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, harsh or wrongful manner; unjust or cruel treatment of subjects, inferiors etc; the imposition of unreasonable or unjust burdens </li></ul><ul><li>(Oxford Dictionary) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Empowerment on three levels <ul><li>Personal; </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals can be helped to </li></ul><ul><li>Gain control over their lives in a variety of ways </li></ul><ul><li>Through enhancement of confidence and self-esteem </li></ul>
  8. 8. Judith Snow 2007 <ul><li>The community is denied the talents, gifts, contributions and opportunities of all the people who are excluded. The answer is simple; see me as gifted, not as disabled. </li></ul><ul><li>Throw away the concept of disability. Welcome the concept of giftedness. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Cultural <ul><li>Discriminatory assumptions and stereotypes can be challenged </li></ul><ul><li>in an attempt to break down an </li></ul><ul><li>Oppressive culture in which </li></ul><ul><li>Values and interests of dominant groups are presented as normal and natural </li></ul><ul><li>Empowerment is therefore concerned with consciousness raising – becoming aware of ideologies premised on inequality </li></ul>
  10. 10. Structual <ul><li>Power relations are rooted in the structure of society so </li></ul><ul><li>Empowerment at this level must involve </li></ul><ul><li>Eradication in the long-term of structured inequalities </li></ul><ul><li>This involves a collective political response </li></ul><ul><li>A concerted programme of action for social change </li></ul><ul><li>Thompson 1998 </li></ul>
  11. 11. Personal empowerment and structural change <ul><li>Low level of empowerment = </li></ul><ul><li>Structures continue unchanged </li></ul><ul><li>High level of empowerment = </li></ul><ul><li>The potential for structural change is increased </li></ul>
  12. 12. Empowerment <ul><li>Gaining more control over own life </li></ul><ul><li>Being aware of and using personal resources </li></ul><ul><li>Overcoming obstacles to meeting needs and aspirations </li></ul><ul><li>Having your voice heard in decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Being able to challenge inequality and oppression in your life </li></ul><ul><li>(Kirton and Virdee 1992 cited Dalrymple and Burke 2003) </li></ul>
  13. 13. To Empower <ul><li>One has to be able to hold on to and defend one’s value perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Have some critical awareness of the interaction between individuals </li></ul><ul><li>It is about not making assumptions and asking the question why </li></ul><ul><li>Critical analysis is the forerunner to empowerment </li></ul>
  14. 14. In Human services <ul><li>The actions of human service workers can help people to become more powerful (empowerment) </li></ul><ul><li>Or can reinforce their sense of powerlessness (disempowerment) </li></ul><ul><li>It is for this reason that an understanding of power issues is necessary </li></ul><ul><li>In order to increase the likelihood of </li></ul><ul><li>A POSITIVE EMPOWERING OUTCOME </li></ul>
  15. 15. References <ul><li>Thompson N., 1998, Promoting Equality, Challenging discrimination and oppression in the human services, Hampshire, Palgrave </li></ul><ul><li>Dalrymple J., Burke B.,2003, Anti-Oppressive Practice, social care and the law, Maidenhead, Open University Press </li></ul>
  16. 16. References <ul><li>Nzira V., Williams p., 2009, Anti-Oppressive Practice in Health and social Care London, Sage Publications </li></ul>