Discussion 2: Power, Privilege, and Classism
Respond to at least two colleagues’ posts by explaining how your own past experience with classism is similar to or different from your colleagues’. Also explain how issues might reveal themselves in your future social work practice in a manner similar to or different from that which your colleagues anticipate.
Discussion Posting Content
8.1 (27%) – 9 (30%)
Discussion posting demonstrates an excellent understanding of all of the concepts and key points presented in the text(s) and Learning Resources. Posting provides significant detail including multiple relevant examples, evidence from the readings and other scholarly sources, and discerning ideas.
Peer Feedback and Interaction
6.75 (22.5%) – 7.5 (25%)
The feedback postings and responses to questions are excellent and fully contribute to the quality of interaction by offering constructive critique, suggestions, in-depth questions, additional resources, and stimulating thoughts and/or probes.
4.05 (13.5%) – 4.5 (15%)
Postings are well organized, use scholarly tone, contain original writing and proper paraphrasing, follow APA style, contain very few or no writing and/or spelling errors, and are fully consistent with graduate level writing style.
1. Student name: Ryen Gallagher
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Classism is demonstrated in the Hernandez video because the father has to miss necessary parenting classes to work extra in order to provide for his children. Still, they struggle to make ends meet. The Hernandez family is part of the working poor. The family is also Hispanic, which is not a dominant group. This is a group that may be marginalized, living in poverty, find it harder to get housing, loans, jobs, respect all because of their ethnicity.
Since the Hernandez family is part of the working poor, they have to miss parenting classes that are required by child protective services. This could cause consequences for them because they were being accused of child abuse. This case may have been resolved with the proper completion of parenting classes, but because of their class they are not able to properly complete the course. This is not a lack of trying, or a lack of caring, this is pure classism in effect. In the long run, there could be serious consequences like losing their children, all from trying to provide for them.
Additionally, the Hernandez parents both discussed their family history and how the way their parents live was passed on to them. In this situation it is possible that the children end up in the same situation, part of the working poor class, no matter how hard they work. They may be trapped from growth or networking opportunities.
Some strengths of the Hernandez family include that the parents are still together, which means they have the chance at dual income. Additionally, the parents want to try, so if given the chance they may appreciate advancement in jobs or education. Also, the children are young meaning there may be some solutions for the parents to have a babysitter, like enrolling the children in a youth club or a recreation center.
In this case, I would recommend that the Hernandez family has an opportunity for one on-one parent instruction when they are able to fit it in to their schedule. Also, as I mentioned above, getting the children involved socially in a group. Also, giving the parents resources to enroll in local community college classes to advance their education, and access to federal student loans or alternatively a chance to enter a trade apprenticeship. Lastly, the parents may benefit from looking for grants in the community that they could apply for whether it is for school, child care, food, or other opportunities.
“Even as transmigrants face the traditional problems faced by many migrant populations—such as poverty, long hours of physical work, and discrimination—they must also contend with a range of other psychosocial stressors that act as powerful “multipliers””. (Furman Et al., 2009) This represents further that Hispanic immigrants in the US do not have equal opportunity to fair work hours, wages, levels of work, proper treatment and adequate housing. This is an issue that also has to be advocated for at a government level, as well as in local communities, businesses, organizations and schools.
At a micro level, in the Laureate Education video the social worker is helping to advocate. She speaks up to her supervisor after realizing that the child protective service worker may have biases against the Hernandez family due to their ethnicity as well as showed biases against people who are Mexican. First, the CPS worker called the Hernandez family “Mexican’s” when they are in fact Puerto Rican. The stereotype that all Hispanic people are Mexican is hurtful to many identifying in either group. Similar to titling all Asian people as “Chinese”, which is also common. Second, the CPS worker assumed they didn’t care because they are “Mexican” as she says, making the assumption that it has anything to do with their parenting. This is stereotype, a bias, and a microaggression that perpetuates the vicious system of classism.
Furman, R., Negi, N. J., Iwamoto, D. K., Rowan, D., Shukraft, A., & Gragg, J. (2009). Social work
practice with Latinos: key issues for social workers. Social work, 54(2), 167–174. https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/54.2.167
Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Hernandez Family (Episode 26) [Video file]. In Sessions.
Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
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2. Student name: Ja’Sharee Bush
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Classism is demonstrated in the Hernandez video because the social worker identifies them as working-class or lower class. The social worker talks about how they missed sessions because the father has been missing overtime for the class, and their family relies on that money to make ends meet. The Hernandez family struggles to make the classes because he has to pick up overtime to make ends meet. They are considered the working class; they live paycheck to paycheck. Due to the Hernandez family falling into the working class, Hispanic and immigrants, social workers that have a bias against Hispanics can make their experience difficult. They can view them as a problem or do not want to work with them, so they recommend unnecessary programs to move them along or watch them fail.
I identified two strengths from the Hernandez family: they are hard workers, and they are willing to try to get help. I would recommend social workers find alternate ways for the family to obtain funds so that the father does not have to rely on overtime. I would also suggest that the social worker become culturally competent to ensure necessary services are provided and serviced correctly. I feel these recommendations will help the Hernandez family work their way out of the working class; that way, Mr. Hernandez does not have to rely on overtime. The family needs to receive the proper care to ensure they do not have to repeat services or alter their culture.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Hernandez Family (Episode 26) [Video file]. In Sessions. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
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3. Sherlina Thomas
When examining how the intersection of class (e.g., working poor), ethnicity (e.g., Hispanic), and migration history (e.g., move from Puerto Rico to mainland) may further impact the Hernandez’s experience, think about how the current political climate might impact this family. What challenges might this create for this family?