Under the Cover of Kindness: The Invention of Social Work

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University of Virginia Press, 1997 - Social Science - 216 pages
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In Under the Cover of Kindness, Leslie Margolin looks at how this country's social welfare system developed and with what results. From his detailed examination of social work texts, primarily case histories, he argues persuasively that social work disguises its own assumptions and claims to power as a way of further legitimizing its actions. By attending to these case histories, Margolin shows how social work entails not only the intrusion into the previously private space of the home but also the constant justification of this intervention - to both clients and workers themselves - as representing charitable and disinterested help. This book critically assesses how social workers invent themselves as they simultaneously invent their field of knowledge.

  

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Birth of the Investigation 1
13
The Social Work Gaze
23
A Network of Writing
36
SelfMystification
60
Reaching the HardtoReach
85
Framing the Poor
97
Lobotomy 1 06
106
The Rhetoric of Empowerment 1 1 7
117
The New Excuse 1 35
139
The New Record 1 51
151
SelfInoculations
165
Notes
181
Works Cited
199
Index
213
Copyright

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