Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


In social work, like many of its allied disciplines, the effects of racism on the racially oppressed has tended to focus on overt manifestations like violence and discrimination (Pyke and Dang, 2003). Largely missing from the mainstream social work literature is a clear and consistent definition and framework for internalized racism. An understanding of the deleterious effects of internalized racism- the subtle, often unconscious, processes by which racial inequality shapes the way that the oppressed think of themselves and other members of their group- is often lacking in clinical social work literature. Internalized racism represents a harmful consequence of a racially unequal system. The discussion of racial oppression is not limited to patterns of individual and institutional practices, but also includes the process of how people of color come to internalize their subordination within a system wrought by racism. This study reviews how social workers and professionals in the allied disciplines discuss internalized racism and explores what it needed when addressing internalized racism in the therapeutic, supervisory and educational aspects of clinical social work.


Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2008. iii, 50 p. Includes bibliographical references (p. 45-50)