Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary contribution: an attitude of decoloniality as critical pedagogy for social work.

Harms Smith, Linda


Linda Harms Smith


Christine Morley

Phillip Ablett

Carolyn Noble

Stephen Cowden


There are many reasons why Frantz Fanon’s work is relevant today. Given ongoing Coloniality evident in global power asymmetries and neoliberal economic arrangements with grave levels of global (and within-state) inequality, Fanon’s characterisation of racist colonisation, oppressive power relationships and their intrapsychic impact, remain relevant. His work confronted the brutal asymmetrical power relationships of colonialism, critically interrogating these on levels of the psychological, social, material, cultural and political. As a post-colonial critique, his work brings together many philosophical, psychological and cultural theories with personal anecdotes and illustrations from practice relevant to the colonial context. The impact of oppressive racist power relationships exerts a similar impact today as during the colonial era, from the perspective both of the similarity of these dynamics and through intergenerational transmission of collective trauma. With respect to the nature of ongoing Coloniality, race-, class- and gender-based socioeconomic inequality, intersections of oppression, and institutional and structural racism, it is argued here that among Fanon’s many propositions, in particular, psychopolitics and sociogeny; the impact of colonisation; internalised oppression; negritude; disalienation and liberation; the importance of affect; and an attitude of Decoloniality, provide rich ground for liberatory and conscientising encounters in an environment of critical pedagogy, especially in social work. As Fanon says: 'But the war goes on; and we will have to bind up for years to come the many, sometimes ineffaceable, wounds that the colonialist onslaught has inflicted on our people'.


HARMS SMITH, L. 2020. Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary contribution: an attitude of decoloniality as critical pedagogy for social work. In Morley, C., Ablett, P., Noble, C. and Cowden, S. (eds.) The Routledge handbook of critical pedagogies for social work. London: Routledge [online], pages 399-411. Available from:

Acceptance Date Nov 29, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 20, 2020
Publication Date Feb 17, 2020
Deposit Date Aug 14, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 21, 2021
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 399-411
Book Title The Routledge handbook of critical pedagogies for social work
Chapter Number Chapter 33
ISBN 9781138545748
Keywords Global power; Racist colonisation; Colonialism; Decoloniality; Critical pedagogy; Social work
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations