Using arts as a feminist empowerment tool: The example of social workers in Israel

Noa Barkai- Kra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Although social workers are thoroughly trained in social change and systemic theories, they find it hard to initiate social change activity around their own professional status. As social work is a predominantly female profession, this ambivalence over direct social confrontation can be understood as an expression of gendered roles, showing women's cultural conditioning toward less direct resistance, higher cooperation, and not wishing to draw attention to themselves in the public sphere. The question is how to address this reality in social work education. This chapter will present a single qualitative case study whose aim is to illustrate and discuss a methodology for working with art to empower social workers to fight for their own rights. The study used an arts-based experiential group model that includes an 'internal' reflective stage and an external stage-creating a joint art installation. These two stages will be described in terms of the use of art as a feminist methodology enabling an indirect and thus less threatening form of social resistance for female social workers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArt in Social Work Practice
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice: International Perspectives
EditorsEphrat Huss, Eltje Bos
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781315144245
ISBN (Print)9780367584290, 9781138501249
StatePublished - Oct 2018


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