Cynthia Bond – Ruby (2015)

rubyReading plays a number of roles in my professional and private lives.  Sometimes I read fiction to transport myself out of the present.  I read fiction at night to provide for that gap between the switched on working mind and the sleeping one.  However, writing this blog means I make connections between the theories and explanations of social policy and the fiction I read to escape.  This was most acute when reading Ruby.

The social policy academic side of me, would describe Ruby as a novel about racism, sexism, their intersection, child abuse, child sexual exploitation (CSE) and poverty. The social work educator might use it as an example to study the impact of grief, bereavement and trauma.  Yet none of those terms would be found in Ruby. The vocabulary of the novel and my day job are very different, even if the content is shared. Continue reading

Anne Tyler (2015) – A Spool of Blue Thread

CALAM1I like Doris Day films.  Sometimes, life is ugly and injustice leads me to rail, so I escape into a Doris Day rom-com.  I choose Doris, however, because despite the whimpering-simpering storyline, she always sets her chin defiantly, pulls a funny face and provides character.  She is not alarmingly beautiful, but a talented comedienne who can belt out a tune and looks great in chaps.  This is also how I feel about Anne Tyler.  She is often accused of being ‘cosy’.  The world of her books is ‘small’ and ‘everyday’.  But Tyler can also poke her tongue out, display great comic timing and draw attention to strength as well as frailty. Continue reading

Sara Ahmed – Brick Walls: Racism and other Hard Histories

Why I invited Professor Sara Ahmed to the Developing Social Justice Seminar Series

SARAOn 11 March 2015, I had the great pleasure of welcoming Sara Ahmed to MMU to discuss Racism as part of the social justice seminar series.  I first came into contact with Sara’s work when writing my PhD.  She led me to reflect on my time as a policy officer at a local authority. Armed with the McPherson Inquiry (1999) definition of institutional racism, I found a way of championing race equality issues.  Continue reading

“We have to Work Harder”

“We have to Work Harder”: Testing Assumptions about the Challenges for Black and Minority Ethnic Social Workers in a Multicultural Society

This is a link to an article that a step up to social work graduate wrote with a little support from me, about the assumptions that are made about black and minority ethnic social workers and anti-racist practice.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09503153.2015.1014336#abstract Continue reading