The concept of social justice
Answer questions below:
The concept of social justice is central to the practice of social work, whether at the micro, mezzo, or macro level. While you may have a sense of the way that you would characterize a particular issue as being one of social justice, how do you define social justice on your own terms? How do you know when a given situation is just or unjust? What motivates you on your quest for social justice? Select a social justice issue that is particularly important to you and use it to illustrate your point of view.
Numerous suggestions have been made about reforming Social Security—including privatization, reforms involving women, and changes regarding two-wage-earner couples. Outline the issues each is intended to address. Then select one and consider what it might mean to you, personally, and to family and friends who are retired or close to retirement age. What are the social justice implications?
Various theories of poverty affect the way we understand poverty, as well as the programs we do (and do not) propose to remedy it. Select at least three of the conceptualizations of poverty discussed in your text, and compare and contrast them. Illustrate how each of the theories you selected can be seen in today’s legislation and programs. Which theories of poverty do you think dominate your current state legislature? What are the implications for the residents of your state?
Already a racially and ethnically diverse nation, the United States is projected to become even more diverse in coming decades. Some have argued that the recent increase in bias incidents and outright hate crimes can be traced, in part, to individuals who fear the loss of privilege associated with being white and (often) male. What are hate crimes? Does the explanation involving the fear of loss of privilege ring true to you? What other factors might play a role in hate crimes? What do you think can and should be done to reverse this concerning trend?
Consider the meaning of the terms “gender” and “gender identity” as they relate to trans individuals. What does it mean to be trans? Why do you believe there is so much hostility and discrimination regarding people who are trans? Why, for example, have bathroom bills—forcing trans individuals to use restrooms associated with the sex on their birth certificate—have gained popularity?
When Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, she weighed her choices and decided that she wanted to control the time and manner of her own death. She took the necessary steps to become part of Oregon’s assisted suicide program. Her openness about her decision and her willingness to publicly discuss it, as well as her young age (29 at her death), were unusual, because many individuals who consider assisted suicide are very private about it and substantially older. However, the topic of assisted suicide is a significant one, and Brittany Maynard’s life and death have encouraged discussion of it. Outline the arguments for and against assisted suicide. How might social workers think about assisted suicide in light of social work values and ethics? What is your personal position on assisted suicide, and how have you arrived at it?
Although there are no federal standards regarding workplace violence specifically, courts have held that the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 does impose duties regarding workplace violence (https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/standards.html). What are the general duties of employers under the OSH Act of 1970? Consider that employees in health-care and social service settings are particularly likely to be the victims of workplace violence (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3148.pdf). What does this mean for employers, and for you as a social worker? What do you think your employer should do to encourage a safer workplace, and what can you do?