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THE IMPACTS OF GLOBALIZATION ON SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
Several definitions have been formulated by scholars and researchers to describe the meaning of the term globalization. However, it is worth noting that most of the definitions revolve around economic integration. There are three primary characteristics of identifying nations where globalization is effective. Firstly, you can say a nation has adopted globalization when there is free flow or movement of capital. Secondly, when information is a continuous flow from one nation to another it depicts the characteristics of globalization. Finally, as well the free movement of people and resources play a vital role in globalization (Dominelli, 2010 pp.599).
Furthermore, it is profound to note that globalization has various impacts on social work and social work practices. These implications can be categorized as positive or negative depending on the situation. One of the most significant advantages of is that it is seen as a positive influence on the potential of bringing equity and prosperity. Conversely, it is seen as a negative exploitative force which threatens cultural diversity. In addition to the above, there is a close link between globalization and the proliferation of neoliberalism (Dominelli, 2010 pp.600).
The most significant disadvantage of globalization is that it threatens cultural diversity. When cultures diffuse, there is high chance that people will begin adopting similar traditions, practices, and forms of life. This is primary because social relations play a sensitive role in the way people interact in the global markets. Another feature that has been due to globalization is migration. There has been a high rate of migration over the recent years due to the increased globalization. People are migrating from one place to another primarily because of economic hardships, environmental degradation, and violence.
On the positive the positive side, globalization is characterized by rapid technological forms. Most of the work processes in organizations have been automated. However, this has both negative and positive impacts. The advantages of technological changes have led to increased production, greater efficiency, and increased profitability. On the contrary, it has led to job replacements, unemployment, and conflicts. Globalization as well has led to disparities between the urban and the rural areas. This is mainly because most of the people have preferred moving to the urban areas in search of employment opportunities and better living standards. As such, there have emerged differences between rural and urban areas.
Globalization has led to increased urbanization and centralization that negatively affects the environment. Firstly, this has led to increased growth in the world population. Thus, it is becoming very difficult for the environment to support environment. Secondly, this has led to increased pollution of the environment. The soil, water and air are polluted in various ways and primarily through wrongful disposal. However, to find an amicable solution to such issues people should be made aware of the impacts of environmental pollution. As well, strict policies governing globalization should be implemented to ensure that the effects are managed effectively (Harrison & Melville, 2010).
In summary, globalization creates various opportunities and challenges. As well, it has led to various new patterns of equity. On the other hand, it has led to changes in the boundaries of inequality. The impacts on social work practice include the changes is the way service is delivered. Secondly, it also substantially alters the labor process for the workers and creates new social problems for the practitioners to address. Some of the common challenges include environmental issues and human trafficking.
WHY SOCIAL WORK NEEDS TO INCLUDE THE PHYSICAL OR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT INTO ITS UNDERSTANDING OF THE PURPOSE OF SOCIAL WORK AND WHAT THIS WOULD MEAN FOR SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
It is profound to note that globalization overlaps between social justice issues and sustainability of the environment. Primarily, it is concerned with the distribution of natural resources across the globe. This is the main reason most of the regions across the globe vary in resources. In some regions, resources are very scarce, and people in such areas tend to adopt survival tactics to be successful. However, other regions are characterized by plenty resources that enable people to improve the economy (Hardcastle, Powers & Wenocur, 2004).
Social work tends to be concerned with the health and welfare impacts associated with the destruction of the environment. For instance, the pollution of the environment has created various opportunities. One of the most significant works that can be done by the social workers is to create awareness on the importance of safeguarding the environment. They can do this by cleaning the environment and disposing of wastes accordingly. The social workers are also responsible in the resettlement of refugees in the affected regions. Currently, there are an increased number of refugees across the globe mainly because of the climate changes. As such, this can be reduced by ensuring that the right policies to ensure that the natural environment is protected should be formulated (Ife, 2008).
Consequently, social workers are responsible for working with the local community to analyze, assess, and minimize the impacts of food consumption. It is worth noting that the changes in climate have substantially affected food production. As a result, people should be informed of the better ways of reducing their rates of consumption. They should store other products to be used during the drought and dry seasons. On the other hand, the social workers have the opportunity to assist the members of the society in the management of the changes that occur such as mining, and logging. For instance, during the mining process, a lot of people are displaced, and the environment substantially changes. As well, the affected places become unfavorable for the local communities. As such, the social workers play a sensitive role in ensuring that the members of the society accept such changes (Harrison & Melville, 2010).
In conclusion, it is imperative to note that social work aims at having an impact on social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of the society. The social context involves modernity, globalization, and risky society. As such, it is evident that there several implications of social work. One of the most significant effects is that it needs a global perspective and requires global responses especially in humanitarian issues (Ife, 2008). Secondly, social workers engage in activities based on international contexts as well as working with international people. Thirdly, there is an increased use of technology and related techniques in monitoring, evaluation, and assessment. Thus, on top of all these activities, there is a substantial need for the social workers to an emphasis on conservation of the environment. In so doing, they will be in a better position to reduce issues such as pollution, climate changes, and related effects. Therefore, the environment will be a better place to reside.
Dominelli, L.2010. Globalization, contemporary challenges and social work practice. International Social Work, 53(5): 599-612.
Hardcastle, D.A., Powers, P.R. and Wenocur, S., 2004. Community practice: Theories and skills for social workers. Oxford University Press, USA.
Harrison, G & Melville, R.2010. Rethinking Social Work in a Global World. Hound mills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ife, J. 2008. Human rights and social work: Towards rights-based practice. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.