Who has the Right toEqualRights? LGBT Issues & Social Work in Italy. Urban nothdurfter& Andrea nagyCompetence Centre Social Innovation and Quality Promotionin the Social ProfessionsFree University of bozen/Bolzano (Italy)
OVERVIEW • LEGAL SITUATION OF LGBT PEOPLE IN ITALY • SOCIAL WORK IN ITALY • SOCIAL WORK AND LGBT PEOPLE IN ITALY: AN EXPLORATORY RESERACH 4. THERORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
1 LEGAL SITUATION • decriminalisation of same-sexbehavioursince 1889 (Zanardelli Code) • equal age of consent • prohibition of discrimination on thegrounds of sexual orientation in employmentsince 2003 (transposing European directive 2000/78/CE) • genderrecognitionaftermedicalapprovedgenderreassignementsurgerysince 1982 • no recognition of hatecrimes on thegrounds of sexual orientation and of genderidentity • no same-sexmarriage • no legal recognition of same-sexpartnerships (and other civil partnerships) • no adoptionbysame-sexcouples • recentlandmarksentencebythe Court of Cassationstated on March 15th 2012 that 'same-sexcoupleshavethesame right to a family life as marriedstraightcouples', addingthat 'thejudiciaryshallgrantthemthesame legal rights as enjoyedundermarriage on a case-by-caserule'. LEGAL SITUATION OF LGBT PEOPLE IN ITALY SOCIAL WORK IN ITALY SOCIAL WORK AND LGBT EXPLORATORY RESERACH THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
2 • Verybeginning of professioanlizationafter WW II stronglylinked to there-democratisationafterfascism and theinternationallyaidedreconstuction of thecountryafter WW II; • Contrastingtendenciesin thehistory of SocialWork in Italy • on theone hand closelylinked to processes of democratisation and socialmovements (Tremezzo 1946, during and after 1968) and a stronginfluence to socialpolicies and theestablishment of communitybasedservices; • on theotherone, on themethodologicallevel, stronglyfocused on individualisticmodels of casework and on carving out a „proper“ area of competence and intervention in themicrodimension of thehelpingrelationship; • Education and trainingentirelydelgated to universities in 1990, since 1999 SocialWorkProgrammes on Bachelor‘s, Master‘s and PhDlevel, still lackingrecognition and weakpositioning as a fully academic discipline; • Regulation and licensure of professionalSocialWork: State Exam and registration in theregister of professionalsocialworkers to obtainfullqualification to practice, professionalcommunityisorganized in a order (chamber) system; • Ethicalcodeadoptedsoonaftertheregulation of theprofessionbythe National Council of theSocialWork Order. SOCIAL WORK IN ITALY SOCIAL WORK AND LGBT EXPLORATORY RESERACH 4. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
3 EXPLORATORY RESEARCH: Whathavewedone? • Inquiry among the heads of degree programmesin social work in Italy • Exploration of possible social work debates on LGBT issues in the seven most important social work journals in Italy • Check for official statements of the Italian chamber of social workers • Check of databases of final thesis of Italian students in social work (BA, MA, PhD) SOCIAL WORK & LGBT 4. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
To whatextent and in whichway doesthecurriculum of yourdegreeprogrammeadressissuesrelated to minoritiesand diversity? Doesitexplicitlyadressthetopic of LGBT people in socialwork? Do youthinkthatitisimportantornecessaryforsocialworkpractice to adressissues on gender and sexual orientation and to takeintoaccounttheneeds of LGBT people as socialworkclients? Do youknowiftherehavebeenwrittenany final thesesordoneotherworksorprojectsconcerningtheissue of LGBT peoplein socialworkbystudents of yourdegreeprogramme? Are thereanyother initiatives orresearchactivities at yourdepartment/facultyconcerningtheissue of LGBTpeople in socialwork?
QUESTIONS AND PROBLEMS RAISED IN THE ANSWERS • Relevant (butoften ‚forgotten‘) in socialworkeducation and practice BUT • Risk of categorisation/labelling, • Risk of reductionistfocus on onedimension of identityinstead of a holisticview on theperson, • Curriculum doesnotallow a high degree of specialisation, • Other ‚urgent‘ minorityissueswhichhave to beadressed;
3 ItalianJournals(checkedfrom 2002 to 2012) • Animazione sociale: mensile per gli operatori sociali. Gruppo Abele, Turin, 12 issues per year; • Autonomie locali e servizi sociali il Mulino, Bologna, 3issues per year; • La rivista di Servizio Sociale: Studi di scienze sociali applicate e di pianificazione sociale. ISTISS, Rome, 3issues per year; • Lavoro sociale: operatori, servizi, comunità; quadrimestrale di metodologia e tecniche. Erickson, Trento, 4issues per year; • Prospettive sociali e sanitarie IRS, Milan, 12 issues per year; • Rassegna di Servizio Sociale: studi, ricerche, esperienze, formazione, documentazione. EISS, Rome, 4issues per year; • StudiZancan: Politicheeserviziallepersone FondazioneZancan, Padova, 6 issues per year. SOCIAL WORK & LGBT 4. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
SOME SIDE NOTES ... Topics wherehomosexuality (omosessualità) isbrieflymentioned: Truck againstdiscrimination (EU-project), HIV-infection, didacticmaterialsforschools, sexuality of disabledpeople
3 One full article (on homophobicbullying) PietrantoniL./PratiG./Saccinto (2011): Bullismo e omofobia, in: Autonomie locali e servizisociali 1/2011, pp. 67 – 80. SOCIAL WORK & LGBT 4. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
4 Theories in LGBT Social Work: • Culturalcompetence • Anti-discriminatorypractice • Human rightsapproach Fish, J. (2012). Social work and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. Making a difference. Chicago: Policy Press. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
4 Diane E. Elzes definitionsofoppression:* • Exploitation • Powerlessness • Systematicviolence • Cultural imperialism • Marginalization • Marginalizationwithin LGBT communities. +prejudice, stereotypes, homophobia, biphobia, transhobia *Elze, D. E. (2006). Oppression, Prejudice, and Discrimination. In D. F. Morrow & L. Messinger (Eds.), Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice. Working with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual &Trans People. New York Chichester, West Sussex: Columbia University Press. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
4 Lori Messingers „affirmative practice“:* • Affirmative practicewithindividuals • ... withfamilies • ... in organizations • Affirmative communitypractice • ... Policypractice *Messinger, L. (2006). Toward affirmative practice. In D. F. Morrow & L. Messinger (Eds.), Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice. Working with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual &Trans people. New York: Columbia University Press. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
„Theoppressiontheyexperience will varydependingupontheir age, gender, race/ethnicity, class, physical and mental abilities, and religiousaffiliation.“ (Elze 2006: 44)
References Brown, H. C. (2010). Social Work with Lesbians and Gay Men. London [et al.]: SAGE. Elze, D. E. (2006). Oppression, Prejudice, and Discrimination. In D. F. Morrow & L. Messinger (Eds.), Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice. Working with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual &Trans People. New York/Chichester,/West Sussex: Columbia University Press Fish, J. (2012). Social work and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. Making a difference. Chicago: Chicago Policy Press. Messinger, L. (2006). Toward affirmative practice. In D. F. Morrow & L. Messinger (Eds.), Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice. Working with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual &Trans people. New York/Chichester,/West Sussex: Columbia University Press. Morrow, D. F., & Messinger, L. (Eds.). (2006). Sexual orientation and gender expression in social work practice: working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. New York/Chichester,/West Sussex: Columbia University Press.