Critical and Radical Social Work
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Not on the agenda: investigatory notes on the institutionalised marginalisation of Arabs within the Israeli Social Workers’ Union

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  • 1 Zefat Academic College and Beit Berl Academic College, Israel
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This study reveals tensions between Jews and Arabs in the Israeli Social Workers’ Union, examining the characteristics, experiences and functioning of the Arab minority representatives over the years until the recent election of a new radical socialist-feminist leadership. Data were elicited from semi-structured in-depth interviews with Arab delegates to the union. It was found that the policies of the union’s institutions discriminate against Arab social workers in three dimensions: (1) under-representation in all its organs, including participation in paid staff in the headquarters and district offices; (2) lack of attention to Arab workers’ voice in the union’s published platforms; and (3) lack of consideration of Arab social workers’ unique needs in programmes more appropriate for Jews. The union fails in its role as the formal and exclusive representative of Arab social workers, who suffer from discriminatory government consideration, including unequal budgeting, lack of recognition and lack of participation in decision making.

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  • 1 Zefat Academic College and Beit Berl Academic College, Israel

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