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This paper provides a critical review of the article “Social Work with Rural and Small Communities” published by Northern and Regional Studies Series in 1999. We review four major themes that are discussed in the article, mainly, definition of the Northern Territories, children welfare in these communities, women’s status, and rural-urban relationships in the Northern Territories.
1. Definition of the Northern Territories
According to the authors of the work reviewed, it is not easy to define the Northern Territories because there is no such region, which forms the homogenous entity. In other words, it is difficult to shape the boundaries of the region that exists mainly in the works of researchers and scholars who study various socio-economic processes that take place in this region. Coates and Morrison (1992) define this territory as being formed of two Norths: one is the far North and the other is provincial North (Social Work with Rural and Small Communities, 1999).
We are concerned with provincial North in this work because the main focus of this paper is to discuss and analyze various notions of the small communities of this provincial North. The lives of people who occupy this territory differ largely from the beings of those individuals from larger cities in the regions situated south of the Northern Territories. The main reason behind such state of affairs is that modern processes have been slowed down in the Northern Territories (especially small communities) where males still play the dominant role as those who provide income and support for the families. To continue, there are not as many jobs available in these regions and communities; hence the system is largely dependent on men and their occupations.
2. Children welfare in Northern Territories
Policy making by the contemporary welfare state is seen by class-centered theorists as being shaped by dominant class interests, by the state’s need to respond to the operating requirements of the capitalist economic system, or, by the outcome of interclass conflicts to which this system periodically gives rise.
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Bias in treatment, when it is considered at all, is typically seen as being situated within and subordinate to class dynamics in importance. It is usually treated as but one element of working-class exploitation, or as a source of division and intraclass conflict that undercuts capacity for working-class consciousness and unity. The article’s focus, however, is on the ways in which the Canadian welfare state has been institutionally structured. Bias, authors note, played a significant role in the politics surrounding the origins of the welfare state for the children of Northern small communities.
In other words, because of the number of factors such as male dominance, small societies’ exclusion from country’s social and political life, and low-occupancy rate of the territories children welfare is not developed and is not functioning properly in these areas.
3. Women’s status
Women’s status in the Northern small communities is not any better than children’s status. The programmes initiated by the government are not part of an integrated system and do not reflect a holistic strategy. They should reflect problem-solving at various times and in different arenas and the, but the majority of the policies introduced to this region are based on the general approach that doesn’t take the communities’ peculiarities into account. Poverty, handicap, and personal problems are the major concerns in the small communities, but they tend to be unresolved and still pending.
4. Rural-urban relationships
At Cities, unlike rural communities, are by nature overwhelming. Authors of the article reviewed in this paper note that most of the processes and issues such as well-developed and clearly defined children welfare and gender equality are common to the city occupiers, yet they are often estranged from the rural inhabitants. The location of modern experience is the metropolis and the mature money economy and it is ultimately the development of the latter that accounts for the origins of modernity. The rural areas suffer from the lack of communication and clarity in policies that are designed to target urban dwellers rather than address the issues and problems of the smaller communities.
Delaney, Roger, Keith Brownlee, and Margaret Sellick. (1999). “Social Work with Rural and Small Communities”, Northern and Regional Studies Series 8.
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