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Handbook of International Social WorkHuman Rights, Development, and the Global Profession$
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Lynne M. Healy and Rosemary J. Link

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333619

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333619.001.0001

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Ethnic Conflicts

Ethnic Conflicts

Chapter:
(p.190) 28 Ethnic Conflicts
Source:
Handbook of International Social Work
Author(s):

Darja Zaviršek

Jelka Zorn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333619.003.0028

Ethnic conflict is broadly defined as political or social conflict involving one or more groups that are identified by some markers of ethnic identity. Its appearance varies according to time and place. Ethnic conflict can take the form of discriminatory policies that affect housing opportunities, material resources, and reproductive rights, and that exclude individuals and communities from participation in decision-making processes. All ethnic conflicts have a common structure of social inequality. This chapter presents social work interventions in the situation of ethnic conflict and its aftermath. Social workers have to be careful not to ascribe the term ethnic conflict to heterogeneous situations of exclusion, inequality, and violence, but at the same time they must recognize that ethnic conflict might be the consequence of economic and political deprivation of groups and communities. They have to recognize that ethnic conflict, either violent or nonviolent, is often a consequence of ethnic mobilization produced by powerful elites to achieve certain aims.

Keywords:   ethnic conflict, social work practice, social work interventions, social inequality

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