1st Edition

Critical Ethics of Care in Social Work Transforming the Politics and Practices of Caring

Edited By Bob Pease, Anthea Vreugdenhil, Sonya Stanford Copyright 2018
    268 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book argues that the concept of care is a political and a moral concept. As such, it enables us to examine moral and political life through a radically different lens. The editors and contributors to the book argue that care has the potential to interrogate relationships of power and to be a tool for radical political analysis for an emerging critical social work that is concerned with human rights and social justice.

    The book brings a critical ethics of care into the realm of theory and practice in social work. Informed by critical theory, feminism, intersectionality and post-colonialism, the book interrogates the concept of care in a wide range of social work settings. It examines care in the context of social neglect, interdisciplinary perspectives, the responsibilisation agenda in social work and the ongoing debate about care and justice. It situates care in the settings of mental health, homelessness, elder care, child protection, asylum seekers and humanitarian aid. It further demonstrates what can be learnt about care from the post-colonial margins, Aboriginal societies, LGBTI communities and disability politics. It demonstrates ways of transforming the politics and practices of care through the work of feminist mothers, caring practices by men, meditations on love, rethinking self-care, extending care to the natural environment and the principles informing cross-species care.

    The book will be invaluable to social workers, human service practitioners and managers who are involved in the practice of delivering care, and it will assist them to challenge the punitive and hurtful strategies of neoliberal rationalisation. The critical theoretical focus of the book has significance beyond social work, including nursing, psychology, medicine, allied health and criminal justice.

    Notes on Contributors

    Foreword (Brid Featherstone, University of Huddersfield, England)

    Part I. Framing Care

    Chapter 1: Towards a critical ethic of care in social work (Bob Pease, Anthea Vreugdenhil and Sonya Stanford)

    Chapter 2: Social ethics of care in a context of social neglect: A five country discussion (Donna Baines)

    Chapter 3: Re-imagining social work’s engagement with care: Intimations from a progressive and critically connected paradigm (Martyn Jones)

    Chapter 4: ‘Duty of care’ or ‘duty to care’: The responsibilisation of social work (Anthea Vreugdenhil)

    Chapter 5: Care and justice: Two sides of the same coin of a critical care ethics in social work (Jenny Hay)

    Part II. Situating Care

    Chapter 6: The risks of care and caring about risk in mental health (Anne-Maree Sawyer and Sonya Stanford)

    Chapter 7: I’ve got your back: Learning with homeless people about care, mutuality and solidarity (Anne Coleman)

    Chapter 8: From state to market: Reclaiming a critical ethic of elder care (Sharon Moore)

    Chapter 9: Protecting children within a relationship-based feminist care ethic (Maria Harries)

    Chapter 10: Caring in an uncaring context: Towards a critical ethics of care in social work with people seeking asylum (Sharlene Nipperess)

    Chapter 11: Humanitarian aid and social development: A political ethics of care of international social work practice (Richard Hugman)

    Part III. Unsettling Care

    Chapter 12: Speaking of care from the periphery: The politics of caring from the post-colonial margins (Ann Joselynn Baltra-Ulloa)

    Chapter 13: Aboriginal people and caring within a colonised society (Sue Green)

    Chapter 14: No sex, please…’: Applying a critical ethic of care perspective to social care provision for older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults (Michele Raithby and Paul Willis)

    Chapter 15: Critical engagements with the politics of care and disability (Russell Shuttleworth)

    Part IV. Transforming Care

    Chapter 16: Conceptualising mothers’ care work as maternal practice: Implications for feminist practice with mothers (Sarah Epstein)

    Chapter 17: Do men care? From uncaring masculinities to men’s caring practices in social work (Bob Pease)

    Chapter 18: Where is the love? Meditations on a critical ethic of care and love in social work (Margaret Hughes)

    Chapter 19: Re-working self care: From individual to collective responsibility through a critical ethic of care (Chris Wever and Simone Zell)

    Chapter 20: The politics and ethics of climate change: The need for a critical ethic of care in relation to the environment (Jennifer Boddy)

    Chapter 21: Social work and cross-species care: An intersectional perspective on ethics, principles and practices (Heather Fraser, Nik Taylor and Christine Morley)

    Afterword (Vivienne Bozalek, University of the Western Cape, South Africa)



    Bob Pease is Honorary Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Science at Deakin University and Adjunct Professor in the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of Tasmania. He has published extensively on masculinity politics and critical social work practice, including four books as single author and 12 books as co-editor, as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles.

    Anthea Vreugdenhil is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Tasmania and a Churchill Fellow. Her research program is broadly situated in the area of care, with a focus on aged care and the changing nature of care in social work and society. Anthea has a track record of high-impact publications, underpinned by a strong policy and practice focus.

    Sonya Stanford is Head of Social Work at the University of Tasmania. Her research ‘speaks back’ to risk thinking and risk practices by critically examining how rationalities and practices of risk impact the wellbeing and outcomes of people who use and deliver welfare services. As a risk researcher, Sonya’s research has focused on a wide range of risk dilemmas that arise in social and health care including in suicide risk assessments. Her co-edited book Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Mental Health Policy and Practice (with Sharland, Heller and Warner) was published by Palgrave in 2017.

    'This welcome incisive critical analysis of state-of-the-art knowledge surrounding the ethics of care in social work and related disciplines takes care out of the home and into the community, embedding it in power-defined social relations and the intersecting injustices that impact on everyday life. Its editors and contributors have made a welcome contribution to ethical and political theory in critical social work' – Mel Gray, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia