This book examines the ways in which ethnicity affects social work practice and its role in health care and social policy. It explores ethnicity as a generic concept with commonly shared elements rather than discussing specific groups. Certainly, there is diversity within and among groups, but describing each individually is impractical and can be conducive to stereotyping. Both clients and social workers perceive through an ethnic lens that can be distorted by prejudices, stereotypes, and past experiences. The practitioner's lens must be clear to recognize heterogeneity among groups, patterns that may be responses to years of indifference or oppression, and other underlying factors that impact perceptions. It is through the sensitivity of the ethnic lens that barriers associated with ethnicity can be removed.
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