Colonisation, post-colonialism and decolonisation

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Social justice and human rights are key foundations for the practice of social work, and most social work profession organisations around the world call on their members to advocate for the most disadvantage and marginalized within society. Colonisation has impacted negatively upon many people from around the globe and none more so that Indigenous peoples. The impact of colonisation has been ongoing and continues today. Therefore, social workers have a responsibility to know, understand how colonisation continues to impact upon Indigenous people and to work alongside Indigenous people to dismantle the structures that create inequality today. In developing an understanding of colonisation, it is also important to understand the debates around post-colonialism and decolonisation. This chapter highlights some of the debates and also argues that it is important to decolonise before there is any possibility of living in a post-colonial world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial work theory and ethics
Subtitle of host publicationIdeas in practice
EditorsDorothee Hölscher, Richard Hugman, Donna McAuliffe
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789811910159
ISBN (Print) 9789811910142
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

Name Social Work
ISSN (Print)2946-5052
ISSN (Electronic)2946-5060


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