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Applying complexity theoryWhole systems approaches to criminal justice and social work$
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Aaron Pycroft and Clemens Bartollas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447311409

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447311409.001.0001

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Intersecting contexts of oppression within complex public systems

Intersecting contexts of oppression within complex public systems

(p.159) Eight Intersecting contexts of oppression within complex public systems
Applying complexity theory

Charmaine McPherson

Elizabeth McGibbon

Policy Press

Chapter Eight develops the whole-system context of oppression for traditionally marginalised people from an intersectionality perspective. The authors argue that this approach, based on a critical social science (realist) perspective, might be used to better understand the conflating relationships among the social determinants of health and well-being, social/public service access, and identities such as race and gender. They argue that our analytical gaze should be at the macro-systems level, with emphasis on the unjust structural policy and practice factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of systemic oppression, and that we should specifically interrogate equity issues of exclusion from services. This approach moves away from scientific realism to an approach grounded in critical realism, which argues that exclusion arises from entrenches structural oppression based on race and gender such that vulnerable populations are systematically denied appropriate access to key social services.

Keywords:   whole-system context, marginalised, intersectionality, realist, macro-systems, systemic oppression

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