Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice

Social Justice Social Work, 2nd edition

Edited by Donna Baines  

Paperback $41.00

Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice introduces students to the emerging tradition, the historical and theoretical roots and the specific contexts of anti-oppressive social work practice. AOP understands the problems faced by clients as rooted in the socio-political structure of society rather than in the personal characteristics of the clients themselves, and argues that social change must be a key component of social work practice. Using practice vignettes, personal experience and case work examples to discuss a variety of issues, this updated edition adds a new chapter on the theoretical basis of AOP as well as several practice chapters dealing with issues of child protection, poverty and welfare rights, disability rights, working with unions and standardized assessment procedures.

“This has been a helpful text for examining issues of gender and oppression through an intersectional lens. The book not only introduces ‘anti-oppressive practice’ as a current form of progressive social work, but also provides helpful illustrations on topics such as indigenous pathways to anti-oppressive practice, bridging the practice-activism divide, anti-oppressive practice in child welfare, and restructuring and everyday resistance. A range of Canadian authors describe strategies, highlight issues and raise practical dilemmas inherent in practicing social work from an anti-oppressive perspective.”

— Lyn Ferguson, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba

“Now, more than ever, we need to commit ourselves to anti-oppressive, transformative social work practice. Baines’ edited collection helps us to do just this. Well conceptualized, organized and integrated, the book is set in Canada but has much wider application given the pernicious and wide reaching effects of neo-conservative and New Public Management regimes. No matter whether you are a student, frontline practitioner, policy maker or academic, it offers rich insights and inspiration.”

— Heather Fraser, Social Work, Flinders University, South Australia

“I have found student engagement with this book to be outstanding. Students express much appreciation for the book’s contributions to their learning, especially as it is grounded in very practical terms… (it resonates) with their work experiences and/or placements. Overall … a fine and important collection of writing.”

— Gordon Pon, School of Social Work, Ryerson University

  • Social Work
  • ISBN: 9781552664100
  • $41.00
  • April 2011
  • 252 Pages
  • For sale worldwide

Request Exam Copy


  • Introduction
  • An Overview of Anti-Oppressive Practice: Roots, Theory, Tensions (Donna Baines)
  • An Overview of Anti-Oppressive Practice: NeoLiberalism, Inequality and Change (Donna Baines)
  • Section 1: Types of Practice
  • Doing Anti-Oppressive Child Protection Casework (Gary Dumbrill)
  • Let Us Work Together: Welfare Rights and Anti-Oppressive Practice (Jeanne Fay)
  • Bridging the Practice-Activism Divide in Mainstream Social Work: Advocacy, Organizing and Social Movements (Donna Baines)
  • Reconceptualizing Feminist Therapy: Violence, Problem Drinking and Re-storying Women’s Lives (Catrina Brown)
  • Indigenous Pathways to Anti-Oppressive Practice (Bonnie Freeman)
  • Anti-Oppression Community Organizing: Lessons from Disability Rights Activism (Samantha Wehbi)
  • Evidence Based Practice and Anti-Oppressive Practice (Michelle Bates)
  • Research in Practice: The Community-based Research Practicum as Anti-Oppressive Social Work Education (Saara Greene and Lori Chambers)
  • Business as Usual: Doing Anti-Oppressive Organizational Change (Lisa Barnoff)
  • Section 2: Reflexivity
  • Occupied Spaces: Unmapping Standardized Assessments in Health and Social Service Organizations (Kristin Smith)
  • Crossing Boundaries to Radicalize Social Work Practice and Education (Notisha Massaquoi)
  • A Resettlement Story of Unsettlement: Transformative Practices of Taking it Personally (Martha Kuwee Kumsa)
  • Section 3: Resistance
  • Social Work Activism amidst Neoliberalism: A Big, Broad Tent of Activism (Meaghan Ross)
  • Unions: A Vehicle for Anti-Oppressive Resistance (Donna Baines)
  • Self-Care, Social Work and Social Justice (Norma Jean Profitt)
  • Afterword: Doing Anti-Oppressive Social Work: The Importance of Resistance, History and Strategy (Akua Benjamin)
  • References
  • Index


  • Donna Baines

    McMaster University

    Donna Baines is Associate Professor of Social Work and Labour Studies at McMaster University. In 2006-07, she was Visiting Scholar, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

    Donna’s teaching interests include social movements and advocacy, social policy, globalization and restructuring and social justice. Her research interests focus on the impact of restructuring on work in the human services, particularly in the social services; race, class, and gender in everyday social service work; social services work and unions; caring labour; radical social work practice and theory including feminist social work; gendered and racialized impacts of restructuring work, particularly in the social services; anti-racist social work; post modern social work; women and social policy; and structural social work.

    Donna has published extensively, in a wide variety of areas, including restructuring, health and safety, bullying, the organization of work for social workers, and social service public policy. Her articles have appeared in Social Work, Journal of Health and Safety, Women and Work, Australian Social Work, Social Justice and Studies in Political Economy, among several other journals. Donna is also editor of Doing Anti-Oppressive Practice. Building Transformative, Politicized Social Work.

    Donna is also a board member of Ferncliff Daycare and After School Programme, as well as a member in Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work, Progressive Economics Forum, Society for Socialist Studies, National Activist School Planning Project and Flying Flamingo Sisters.