SRV Journal focus question: June 2010

The following focus question was published in the June 2010 issue of The SRV Journal. I look forward to your replies, thoughts, reflections and related questions:

One aspect of the SRV theme of interpersonal identification is that “if devalued people are to have a chance of receiving the good things in life from the rest of society, then it is important that things be done which help valued people to identify with–i.e., to see themselves in, and as similar to–devalued people” (Wolfensberger, 1998, p. 119).

Think of a time when you were reminded of the humanity you share with a devalued person. What did you think & feel, & what effect did this have on you & on the relationship? How can engaging in interpersonal identification help you to more fully understand the most pressing, immediate & urgent needs of socially devalued people? (cf. Wolfensberger, 1998, pp. 111-112.) Be mindful of both image & competency needs. 

What helps interpersonal identification to occur? As well, what barriers get in the way of human service programs a) identifying with socially devalued people & b) understanding their most pressing needs? What can be done to minimize or compensate for these barriers at the level of human service staff, programs, organizations & systems?

Marc Tumeinski


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.