Anti-oppressive practice in social work education, and black African mothers' lived experiences of raising children on the autism spectrum in Scotland

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2020
Thesis identifier
  • T15798
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 201392754
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • This doctoral research aims to develop an understanding of social workers’ interactions with Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) families in Scotland. This is achieved through considering the concept of anti-oppressive practices within social work education; within the experiences of social worker to BME community interactions in the field; and the experiences of Black African mothers raising children on the autism spectrum in Scotland. Anti-oppressive practice is a concept used to frame and understand oppression in operation at various levels in society. Proponents of anti-oppressive practice argue that it is advantageous because it bisects various identity markers (Dominelli, 2002). Additionally, BME experiences of social services is sparse within the Scottish context (Valenti, 2017). The ethnic diversity in Scotland is predicted to increase (Walsh, 2017), so investigation into BME experiences is essential. The focus on African mothers is relevant in recognising inter community differences rather than amalgamating their experiences into a homogeneous ‘BME’ experience. This qualitative research is philosophically underpinned by descriptive phenomenology. The lived experiences of 6 social work educators, 10 students, 6 social workers, and 4 Black African mothers raising children on the autism spectrum were captured. The data was collected through interviews, a focus group session, written responses, and documentary evidence. The data was explicated using Hycner’s simplified (1999) process in descriptive phenomenology. The findings reveal the coupling of the workers’ education and training; their lived experiences; and the changes in societal demands shape their understanding of anti-oppressive practice. The findings provide a layer of insight into discord in perceived social work roles, and expectations by Black African mothers of those roles in reality. The research contributes to the sparse research landscape in Scotland through exploring the experiences of Black African mothers as a subgroup of BME communities. Therefore, these findings have wider implications for anti-oppressive social work practice with wider BME communities in Scotland.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Harris, Bernard
  • MacIntyre, Gillian
  • Meer, Nasar, 1980-
Resource Type
  • This thesis was previously held under moratorium from 27th January 2021 until 27th January 2023.
Date Created
  • 2020
Former identifier
  • 9912939691702996