The University of Southern California's School of Social Work will no longer use the word "field" because it "may have connotations for descendants of slavery and immigrant workers that are not benign," according to a letter from the department.I will be looking to see if anyone really uses the term practicum. I never heard of it.
USC's Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work will make the change in order to ensure the use of "inclusive language and practice," according to the letter.
"Specifically, we have decided to remove the term ‘field’ from our curriculum and practice and replace it with ‘practicum,'" the letter said. "This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that would be considered anti-Black or anti-immigrant in favor of inclusive language."
No, Stanford did not change its mind about the language being harmful. It still argues that terms like "master/slave" are racist, and must be eliminated. It only said that it was working on a more inclusive list, because of technical criticism.
But Stanford is not alone in seeking to remove harmful language from its college communications. On the contrary—many colleges engage in such practices, though they are less transparent in their practices. Also, some acknowledge that their efforts, which have not engaged their communities, could be seen as performative.Performative? That means that no one believes that this language is really harmful, but it is being purged anyway to appease political factions.
Update: Here is some USC student reaction. Example:
if the phrases being replaced originated from slavery or have an offensive origin, she supports the decision.No, it does not have an offensive origin. It is just something to complain about.