Book Review of “Indigenous Social Work around the World. Towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice”, 2008, edited by Mel Gray, John Coates and Michael Yellow Bird

Ann Joselynn Baltra-Ulloa


One could be seduced into a critique of this volume that focuses on its potential to overstate the momentum for a shift in Western social work ideology when faced with the conundrum of cultural difference. One could posit that the discussion is too broad, the topics covered too numerous, the opportunity for detail missed, the urgency of the messages unnecessarily exaggerated, the “proof” not beyond anecdote and so forth. I reject this temptation to conform to the dominant professional dynamic most emphatically and offer that what Gray, Coates and Yellow Bird have presented to the social work field in this volume is the first tangible step towards an alternative paradigm for an occupation afflicted with unsustainable hypocrisy and thus at the brink of irrelevancy.

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