2018 | 33(2) | 97-116
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Theory of Intersectionality – Critical Thinking – Legitimation Code Theory.On the applications of theory in the context of educational activity analysis of the social work students

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The article is a presentation of the theory of intersectionality and aims to settle it within the framework of wider scientific discourses, as well as justifying its application in the field of social work. In particular, it is about possible adaptations of intersectionality to social work curricula based on literature review and particular teaching experience of the author. An attempt will be made to evaluate critical thinking competence and its possible adaptation to the social work curriculum. The text presents authors own research findings (inspired by the theory of intersectionality) based on the analysis of twenty student essays. The analysis was based on the analytical tool – semantic gravity – coming from the Legitimation Code Theory research framework. These findings demonstrated that the Legitimation Code Theory and theory of intersectionality can serve as a basis for the cumulative knowledge building with respect to critical thinking. Legitimation Code Theory offers an analytical toolbox with potential of ensuring critical thinking and could be called ‘catalyst of the critical awareness’. The possibility of analyzing the own knowledge depending on the context of both production and application seems to be crucial competence in the contemporary social work. The ability of identifying the multidimensional and multifaceted oppression is not only cognitive ability, but also can serve as the supporting tool or competence enabling assessment of the client’s situation. Implementing critical thinking as well as the theory of intersectionality to social work curriculum is justified. On the other hand, equipping social work students with tools enabling the analysis of their own educational activities, e.g. by introducing concept of semantic gravity which allows the student to look from the outside at her own educational activities, seems crucial for professional and academic development.
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