chapter  7
Practising feminist approaches Matilde Patocchi
ByAnnie Hudson with Lorraine Ayensu, Catherine Oadley and
Pages 13

The discussion below draws on our experiences of working together in a social work team in an inner-city area of Bristol. Our relatively diverse social identities and biographies have engendered as much difference as consensus in our ideas about feminist and anti-sexist social work practice. We believe that this is not only a potential strength as opposed to a weakness, but also that it is a reflection of a much broader diversity about the most appropriate means of infusing social work’s dominant institutions with the potentially radical concepts implicit within different strands of feminist thought and practice (see, for example, the collection of writings in Langan and Day 1992). Our shared starting point is that feminist analysis can be invaluable for etching out how social workers, including those working in statutory agencies, can begin to address, rather than ignore, the unequal position of women that characterizes so many facets of social relations. Challenging myriad manifestations of gender inequalities, like challenging race, class and other forms of oppression, is, however, an exceedingly complex task. To suggest otherwise would be naive and misleading.