20 SES 12, Developing Competencies for Inclusive and Intercultural Education and Cooperation
Parallel Paper Session
The 20 years development of social work in Lithuania allowed accumulating experience based on local understanding of the social issues. This experience allows having common sense between professional participants in social work and social work education. The appearance of common sense between participants of the interaction in the professional arena requires time length to uncover common understanding. Gadamer insists that understanding is essentially a historically effected event.
Lack of reflected local knowledge, which would explain social situations appear in person’s life and create social issues, results subjectively, constructed professional practice of social worker. Diffusion, which social worker face in his/her day-to-day activities, can create guilt, unknowing, or lack of understanding. One of the ways social workers can control the daily professional activities - share common language with other professionals. Howe (2002, 81) points, that social workers in their day-to-day practice face a busy and complex person’s world in certain social context. Thus, social workers try to understand and make sense of people and the situations in which they try to act professionally. If social workers try to cope with and be competent in social situations, he/she develops more deliberate, systematic and formalized situation. Commonality between professionals achieved through social work education and collaborative work process with other professionals. However, the issue for social work and education of social work is the foreignness of social work theories, which mostly originated in western societies, and Lithuanian social realities where social workers perform their practices. This complicates social work practice, and education which is responsible for creation basis for professional behaviour, language and common understanding of social workers, but also overcoming the foreignness of socially excluded persons.
The habitus according to Bourdieu (1990, 54) is a product of history, which produces individual and collective practices in accordance with the schemes generated by history. It ensures the active presence of past experiences, which, deposited in each organism in the form of schemes of perception. Through the action habitus tend to guarantee the “correctness” of practices and their constancy over time, more reliability than all formal rules and explicit norms.
The aim of the presentation is to discuss the domestication of western social work in transitional Lithuania focusing on aspects of interculturality of social work education.
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