Episode 53 - Dr. Raphael Travis, Jr. and Dr. Anne Deepak: Empowerment in Context: Lessons from Hip Hop Culture for Social Work Practice

Monday, August 23, 2010, 10:20:58 AM

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In this episode, Drs. Raphael Travis and Anne Deepak discuss using Hip Hop as a framework for understanding client populations and educating social work students.

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Average Rating: 4.6 stars (7 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 5stars  hip-hop , Tuesday, January 31, 2017

By Caitlin T :

The topic discussed by Drs.Travis and Deepak is one that I have never thought about, nor heard being used before. I think that the idea of using Hip-Hop as an educational tool and in practice is brilliant! There are so many misconceptions about Hip-Hop as stated in the Podcast, and when you really break it down and listen to the music it tells a story. Music is so powerful and people, especially the youth really connect to music and do learn through their emotions. Through listing to Hip-Hop truly exploring the meanings of the music, putting words into pictures through music videos is an incredible, new and engaging way to get students to learn. Doing this in a classroom setting using a framework, and hearing the themes that populations we will be working with will give students a much more in depth look at the struggles of the culture. I believe it will also lead to students wanting to go and explore about these cultures more on their own, when taught in an interactive way such as through Hip-Hop. I also believe that this way of teaching and exploring through music can be such a successful tool in working in Marco and mezzo settings Such as In communities who are not well informed on social issues, and to promote social change in new ways.
Using Hip-hop or even any type of music to connect to a client especially a youth is such a great idea to build rapport. Through building this rapport from music, and the themes within that music can open up the door for the client to talk about things happening in their life that may be similar to the themes in the music. There are many ways this framework can be applied and used as a tool in not only the social work profession, but many other professions as well. I am very interested in learning more about how this framework has grown and been used. This Podcast was very interesting and defiantly peaked my interest in finding more modern and engaging frameworks to use in the social work field such as this one.

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Average Rating: 5stars  great potential, Saturday, January 31, 2015

By Paige Barton :

The idea of using music, especially hip hop, in order to connect with clients as well as promote social change seems to provide a great sense of hope for professionals. The idea of providing a framework for practitioners is a great start to utilizing this ever growing tool. I believe youth already utilizes music in order to connect with others and to gain an understanding that the issues they face are themes that are occurring within their communities. I have heard of professionals using music with their clients in a sense of homework, to listen to music they can relate to in their free time or in times when they are feeling the most isolated. Using music within the session is a powerful and seemingly effective way to gain that trust and connection with clients. I have never thought about using technology within sessions such as a music video or lyric video prior to listening to this talk. This idea never occurred to me due to the fear that using these techniques could break the personalized connection between client and worker. After listening to the benefits and learning outcomes that can come from these tools, videos and songs could help bridge the gap between a client and their worker due to an increased sense of understanding.

I wonder how other genres of music could be used and incorporated within communities to help combat racism and largely held stereotypes. As discussed in this podcast, not all professional will enjoy this type of music or believe that much can be learned from these songs. Dr, Travis addresses this issue perfectly by providing a framework for listening to this music. Learning and understanding this music can be done in an efficient manner if those listening are looking for specific themes such as resilience and social change. Introducing this framework to clients may allow them to gain a sense of hope that can carry over into their communities.

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Average Rating: 5stars  podcast discussion/sw540, Thursday, May 08, 2014

By Tunisia :

I enjoyed this podcast with Dr. Travis. I think incorporating hip hop with social work is a brilliant concept. Minority young men are depicted in a negative light and this research would have a profound affect on helping them express themselves.

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Average Rating: 4stars  hip hop culture-a tool to help educate, Saturday, October 29, 2011

By Gina :

The podcast discussed how hip hop culture is much broader then just the music itself, it includes, MC rapping, DJ, graffiti, and break dancing to name a few. These forms of art tell peoples stories and can help us as social workers gain some insight into our clients thinking and life experiences. It can be used as starting point with our clients. The hip hop culture gives us a cross cultural perspective, global aspects and a social justice element as stated in the podcast. I agree that music is a form of expression and can have a strong emotional impact.

Most people that experience trauma shut down, and unable or unwilling to articulate their feelings, but everyone can relate to music. Hip Hop music may contain violence, drugs, gangs, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and may be portrayed as angry or negative, but that is what many people have been exposed to and/or have experienced. As people tell their stories a trust and bond can be developed, and from there other positive bonds and creativity can start to build. Social workers can help clients figured out ways to turn their negative experiences into positive ones, creating their own music, dance, art, helping others in the same or similar situations, forming groups and much more. It can build self esteem and other positive relationships and it can help people realize that they have the power to create change not just for themselves but for others.
The podcast discusses the 5 C’s as a desired outcome, competence, confidence, connections, character, and caring, in hopes the a 6th C will be created, contribution, Addressing social problems through music is not just a way for social workers to help empower our clients, but for the clients to empower the social workers as well.

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Average Rating: 4stars  the benefits that hip hop music can provide, Thursday, March 24, 2011

By Julie :

In this podcast, Dr. Raphael Travis and Dr. Anne Deepak spoke about using music to understand the thoughts and culture of many adolescents. Hip-hop, specifically, has in the past been viewed as a negative source for young people. Many have argued that this genre of music has no artistic merit, is demonizing, and has no value. In contrast, both speakers argue that Hip-hop can provide a great opportunity for social work practitioners to listen and understand a culture and adolescents who identify with this genre. Although the hip-hop culture varies, the music often presents some common themes, such as human growth development and social change. Individual and community empowerment were also two major domains that the speakers spoke about. After listening to the podcast, I realized that music can be a great resource for helping professionals to utilize when working with clients. Music often allows people to connect feelings and thoughts about past and current events and can be very therapeutic. Overall, this was a good podcast to listen to.

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Average Rating: 4stars  hip-hop, Wednesday, December 08, 2010

By Miri S.B. :

First off I want to point out that I have never heard of this topic. Also while i am an avid listener of hip-hop i never thought of its uses in the social work classroom On the other hand i have used it in my own personal growth and understanding. I often quote Tupac when other social work students don't understand why someone would steal or sell drugs. One part of this podcast that I think is important is when Dr. Travis talked about positive youth development. He talked about how our society as a whole focuses on the negative things that youth do and how to fix them or stop them from happening. This is a good point because when you focus only on the negative things it may make it seem as though they are the important things. When Dr. Travis talked about positive youth develpment he talked about the 5 C's. One of them is confidence. Hip-Hop is a creative outlet for youth to grow and exude confidence. Another important part of this podcast to me is when Dr. Deepak talked about social work themes in the hip-hop songs and videos. This is important because it allows social work students to see that these themes are important to various communities. I sometimes find that there is a misconception that many of the people that social workers try to help do not want help. When you see the social injustices and political issues portrayed in many hip-hop songs you can see that these issues are important to a lot of people.

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Average Rating: 5stars  hip hop culture for social work practice, Saturday, August 28, 2010

By DorleeM :

This was the first time that I had heard of the idea of using Hip Hop as a means of establishing rapport with youth from diverse populations.

I think the way that Drs. Travis and Deepak presented the framework for doing so was very enlightening and in fact, their talk inspired me to write a post about this method and listen to a music video with their framework in mind.

Please feel free to stop by to visit the post at

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