Naive Consciousness

  • Definition: In the words of Ledwith (Community Development, A Critical Approach) found on page xiv, "Freire's concept for partial empowerment which relates to the symptoms of oppression, engaging with single issues rather than the underlying roots of injustice".
  • Apply: Naive consciousness can be seen in a community situation where the people are dealing with an issue such as poverty, and in the process overlooking the root of the problem and not resolving the issue where it starts. i.e. A person is homeless, and the social worker works to take care of that aspect of their lives while ignoring the issue of that person not having stable income or competitive job skills needed in order to more permanently be out of that homeless situation.
  • Adapt: Also in the situation of working with a homeless person; instead of focusing on just the housing issue, the social worker can collaborate with the consumer, co-workers and other resources in addressing the other issues affecting his/her homelessness. In this way, naive consciousness will no longer only address a single, outstanding problem. Rather, social justice can be more effectively served by looking at the overall issue and its foundation.