Author: Cindy Sousa
Source: The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 49, Issue 4, June 2019, Pages 963–982,https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcz049
Publication Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Despite calls for greater social work attention to the centrality of place in human life, the profession has yet to hone frameworks that fully capture the role of place in individual–collective identity and well-being. To move this agenda forward, this article draws on data from a series of focus groups to explore the placed experiences of women in Palestine. Analytically, it is informed by critical place inquiry, which emphasises the deeply interactional relationships between people and places, views place-centred practice and research as catalysts for active responses to the spatialised nature of power and injustice, and focuses centrally on the geographic and spatial dynamics of colonisation, and particularly settler colonialism, as key determinants of individual and collective well-being. Women’s spatial narratives revolved around individual–collective identity and sovereignty, focusing in particular on three interdependent factors: freedom of movement; possession and dispossession; and continuity of place. Findings also illuminated spatial practices of resistance by which women defend and promote identity and sovereignty. We conclude with recommendations for more explicit, critically informed attention to place in social work practice, education and research.