Reclaiming Social Work: Challenging Neo-liberalism and Promoting Social Justice

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SAGE, Dec 12, 2007 - Social Science - 168 pages
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Reclaiming Social Work is a thought-provoking and innovative book which examines how social work's commitment to social justice has been deepened and enriched by its contact with wider social movements. It explores the tensions between social work values and a market-driven agenda, and locates new resources of hope for the social work profession in the developing resistance to managerialism.

The book:

" discusses pertinent social work issues such as inequality and risk, the voluntary sector, and service-user involvement

" examines values such as democracy, solidarity, accountability, participation, justice, equality, liberty and diversity

" is written in an accessible style, drawing on diverse examples to illustrate theoretical concepts.

Reclaiming Social Work is an accessible yet challenging book and will be essential reading for all social work students and practitioners wanting to think outside the boundaries of their profession. The book will be particularly helpful to students taking courses in anti-oppressive practice, social work values, social work theories and concepts, and international social work.

Iain Ferguson is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Stirling. Previous publications include Rethinking Welfare: A Critical Perspective (SAGE, 2002, co-authored with Michael Lavalette and Gerry Mooney); Globalisation, Global Justice and Social Work (Routledge, 2004, co-edited with Michael Lavalette and Elizabeth Whitmore); and International Social Work and the Radical Tradition (Venture Press, 2007, co-edited with Michael Lavalette).


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A Profession Worth Fighting For?
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New Labour New Social Work
The Market and Social Care
Consumerism Personalisation and Social Welfare Movements
The Radical Tradition
Critical Social Work Issues and Debates
Challenging the Consensus

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Page 19 - The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work.
Page 23 - We used to think that you could just spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and that in so far as it ever did exist, it worked by injecting inflation into the economy.
Page 23 - Neoliberalism is in the first instance a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade.
Page 18 - Its just our bringin' up-ke. That gets us out of hand. Our mothers all are junkies, Our fathers all are drunks. Golly Moses, natcherly we're punks. Gee, Officer Krupke, we're very upset. We never had the love that every child oughta get. We aint no delinquents, we're misunderstood. Deep down inside us there is good.

About the author (2007)

Iain Ferguson is professor of social work and social policy at the University of the West of Scotland.

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