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#NotDomestication #NotIndigenisation: decoloniality in social work education.

Harms Smith, Linda; Nathane, Motlalepule


Linda Harms Smith

Motlalepule Nathane


This article argues that South African social work education, situated in Western modernism and broadly within the ideological project of colonialism and racist capitalism, should move from knowledge and discourses which are domesticating and oppressive, and do essential decolonising work. It explores colonialism and post-colonialism and the politics of social work knowledge, it describes the processes of the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall movements, and then it describes the work of decolonisation. In order to move from coloniality and domestication, which means neither indigenisation nor Africanisation, social work education must 1) reclaim and repossess truths and narratives about the history of social work in South Africa, 2) explore ideology underlying its knowledge and discourses, 3) facilitate critical conscientisation and cultivate a critical and anti-colonial approach, and 4) include anti-colonial theorists in the curriculum. It provides two examples of courses which facilitate such a process.


HARMS SMITH, L. and NATHANE, M. 2018. #NotDomestication #NotIndigenisation: decoloniality in social work education. Southern African journal of social work and social development [online], 30(1), article number 2400. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 20, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 19, 2018
Publication Date Jun 30, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 20, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jun 20, 2019
Journal Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development
Print ISSN 2708-9355
Electronic ISSN 2708-9355
Publisher University of South Africa Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 1
Article Number 2400
Keywords Decoloniality; Critical social work; Ideology; Anticolonial approach; Anticolonial theorists
Public URL


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