When racism, poverty, power and prestige collide in social work education and practice: A case study of a working class, mixed-race female student studying at a prestigious white university in South Africa and employed in England as a social worker

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The words, ‘Sorry, you’re not Black enough’ painfully alerted me to the domineering presence of institutional racism at the University of Cape Town (UCT), a prestigious university which customarily reserved access for White, affluent and international students. Positioned at the intersections of race, gender and social class, this study draws on Critical Race Theory’s counter-storytelling, using autoethnographic research to critically reflect on my childhood, Social Work studies and career in South Africa and England. The paper reveals painful experiences of microaggressions and overt racism in social work practice, but also celebratory moments of good practice, academic success and individual resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-370
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number3
Early online date1 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

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