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Confronting the Medusa with Athena’s Shield: Empowering Social Workers with a Transformative Role in the Migration Field

TitleConfronting the Medusa with Athena’s Shield: Empowering Social Workers with a Transformative Role in the Migration Field
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsDi Rosa RT, Reich H
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published02/2022
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordshuman rights, international social work, post-colonial curricula, social work education, transcultural competences

Along with existing challenges, there are new ones leading social workers to become involved in increasingly international intervention processes. This has led to the development of the concept of International Social Work (Hugman, Moosa-Mitha & Moyo, 2010; Cox & Pawar, 2006; Dominelli, 2010), which provides a good opportunity to both depart from old patterns of administering aid (Healy 2008) and to embody a perception of itself as a transformative actor (Wintergerst 2017, p. 236). Assuming that it is true that the presence of different cultures acts as a catalyst in the processes of change in society, then this is equally valid for the development of this profession (Di Rosa, 2021). A profound behavioural change cannot be accomplished simply through “more” techniques, more competencies, but needs to move up on the scale into actually transforming beliefs and constructing identity (Dilts, Hallbom & Smith, 2012; Ramanathan & Link, 1999). However, there is still a long way to go within educational systems and outside, in society, to transform our systems accordingly. In this paper, we share our insights, gained through intercultural participatory exchange formats (Reich & Di Rosa, 2022), to foster our vision, in which we suggest transforming our educational systems so that we can truly embrace differences in programmes, supporting authentic self-realisation and collective empowerment, whilst working towards co-creating sustainable futures.