Race Still Matters
The Relationship Between Racial and Poverty Attitudes Among Social Work Students
Keywords:color-blindness; race; poverty; attitudes; social work education
The attitudes that social work students hold about race and poverty impact the effectiveness of their practice in the field. This study assessed color-blind racial attitudes and attitudes towards poverty of graduating BSW students (n=41) and MSW students (n=128) from three accredited social work programs. Results indicate a correlation between color-blind racial attitudes and attitudes toward poverty for BSW students, but not MSW students. BSW students had fewer color-blind racial attitudes and more favorable attitudes toward poverty than MSW students. Several predictors of their attitudes were found: their educational status, personal experience of poverty, political ideology, and type of diversity course taken. Implications include the need to approach diversity education from an anti-oppression approach.
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