MAPPING WHITENESS AND COLONIALITY IN THE HUMAN SERVICE FIELD: POSSIBILITIES FOR A PRAXIS OF SOCIAL JUSTICE IN CHILD AND YOUTH CARE
This paper explores how a dominant Western ontology rooted in white masculinity and coloniality is embedded in the systems and structures of professional helping in Canada. With a critical, post-colonial feminist analysis, this paper locates Canada’s colonial history as fundamental to ongoing policies and practices in the human services and child and youth care (CYC). The implications of coloniality for CYC suggest that as practitioners we might consciously engage in deconstructing the theories, structures, and values that shape how we practice. Cartographies can assist us in reflexive and deconstructive endeavours. As one maps out the parameters and identifies the existing horizons, one might begin to envision how to then move beyond them. In examining the hegemony of professional helping, the intention is an invitation to work collectively toward models that foreground the social context of problems faced by individuals as well as creative, collective responses. Strategies of an engaged solidarity and a model of socially just, decolonizing praxis offer potential sites for affirmative and transformative social change.
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