Decolonising Social Work Research with Families Experiencing Intergenerational Trauma




decolonisation, intergenerational trauma, colonialism, slavery, participatory learning action, narrative practice


This article focuses on social work research with displaced families in the Western Cape, South Africa, who have experienced both the historical trauma of their slave past and the trauma of displacement during apartheid. In a similar context, aboriginal academic writers have found that initial studies of intergenerational trauma did not take into account the historical ordeal of colonialism which they believe has left its mark on aboriginal communities today. Intergenerational trauma has also been based on research with holocaust survivors. For this research paper, a postcolonial indigenous research paradigm was implemented owing to the colonial history of Cape Town. Collective narrative practice and participatory learning action techniques were used to decolonise the theoretical and methodological approach. Foucault’s counter-memories and counter-histories were applied to critically engage with the research findings to include the “unofficial†stories of slave descendants in social work discourse where these stories have largely been ignored.


Metrics Loading ...




How to Cite

Hoosain, Shanaaz. 2018. “Decolonising Social Work Research With Families Experiencing Intergenerational Trauma”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 30 (1):18 pages.
Received 2017-04-19
Accepted 2017-11-07
Published 2018-06-19