Erin, though, could not contain her badgering of scorching insults to staffs and her boss, Ed. She was never appropriately dressed for work in that she wore garish outfits. Though in her jibes there may have been truths, her hostile demeanor made her more a liability than an asset. On the job Erin was given a routine task from which there was expected to be no income. It was the purchase of a property by a large utility company Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). It was a family owned and occupied property adjacent to one of PG&E’s desert plants. Erin became curious and started to investigate.
Erin tapped into her strengths to bring PG&E to their knees. Among her strengths was a tremendous underutilized talent for gaining empathy, especially from the genuinely downtrodden or “unvoiced” member of society. She also has a superb memory for detail and a powerful instinct for visceral confrontation with those in the legal profession who try to bury her and the case. Erin’s other source of power comes from her ability to adapt her aphroditic allure, which previously led to her failed dependence on men, into a weapon to cajole and seduce to get information.
Her boobs, often consciously flaunted by buttoning down her tops to show a lot of cleavage and tan line, lead the way to important concessions and revelations. With these Erin found out and successfully proved that PG&E had dumped a deadly form of Chromium of toxic levels into the small town’s water. What made it worse is that PG&E knew about the contamination for years and purposely did nothing about it. Horrific diseases afflict most families living around the plant, but the people did not realize PG&E has been culpable.
What was also interesting is that she used her neighbour, a man called Prince who was a motorcycle riding construction worker, to babysit her kids while she focuses on her job; a huge transformation of Erin. What is so important and moving about the stories like Erin Brockovich is their magical ability to provide an image of how we might overcome the external, and more importantly the internal, shackles that bind us. And so, Erin ultimately hits her jackpot when she does the work she is best suited to do by ustilising her innate strengths and abilities with gusto, determination, and sacrifice.
What a magnificent cinematic metaphor to give us the vision to be more than we seem, to be all that we can be. The Social Work Perspective “Social work is a professional and academic discipline committed to the pursuit of social welfare, social change and social justice,” Wipedia Answers. Com defines social work as “Organized work intended to advance the social conditions of a community, and especially of the disadvantaged, by providing psychological counseling, guidance, and assistance, especially in the form of social services. ” This film is replete with social work interventions.
Erwin was unemployed and had children without the support of a father as she was divorced. It was due to social intervention that her lawyer, Ed Masry, tried to tame her loose tongue which caused her to lose her court proceedings against a wealthy lawyer. Though his effort failed, he felt the need to assist her. Erwin was disadvantaged and needed help. She needed money but she could not find a job she could manage. Though he, her lawyer, employed her as his assistant he expected very little as he knew she had glaring handicaps: no education to support her tasks, caustically insolent, and skimpily sex appealing manner of dressing.
That was his way of helping her to advance her social conditions even after being insulted by her. With that exposure Erin became more responsible and used what could be considered as her liability as her main asset. She used her venereal temptingness to get information rather than her previous pastime “prostituting” for her survival. She also discovered some inner beauties: gaining empathy especially from “unvoiced” member of society, an excellent memory and attendant to detail and a powerful instinct.
She not just realized her social needs but that of others as well. It was for that reason she probed the toxic waste issue of PG&E. Too many citizens of Hickley were affected yet were neither compensated nor being represented. Doctors, social workers, politicians and other professionals who were aware of the medical condition of the citizens refused to research the primal cause. Even after lawyers tried to block her probe, she was determined to correct the injustice to the marginalized, poor and disadvantaged residents.
With this social service the affected residents were recognized and changes were effected for disposal of toxic wastes by all who produce it including PG&E who also paid out thirty three million dollars for their culpability. But that was not the only example of social intervention. While Erin was busy with her probe, her neighbour, Prince, a bike rider and construction worker, assisted her children with love, care and fatherhood. He became the babysitter to her children and gave it as his contribution to improving the lives of the residents of Hickley as well as to the advancement of change in the way toxic material are disposed.
Prince also wanted Erwin to be his soul mate. He desired her to be the feminine soul for his intimacy, rescuing her, taking care of her and her children, soothing her hurt and loneliness, salving her desperation. But though that was not Erwin’s ambition, she used it in the form of reversed psychology to be more steadfast to commitments and resilient to the tasks she undertakes. The story showed an improvement in the social fabric of Erin’s son. He was transformed from being resentful of his mom’s absence to supportive. This happened after he found a statement about a badly afflicted child his age.
This became his social intervention to become a boy maturing with understanding and acceptance of his mother and appreciation of her hard work. With these social interventions Erwin became a woman less dependent on men for support and flirting, a woman who was more responsible for the caring and love of her children and family life, a woman who understand the needs of others and able to bring out the best of others, and a woman more socially committed to work and those who work with her. She became a tower of strengths moving up from a valley of weaknesses.