Dissenting Social Work : Critical Theory, Resistance and Pandemic book cover
1st Edition

Dissenting Social Work
Critical Theory, Resistance and Pandemic

ISBN 9780367903701
Published March 4, 2021 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

This book, from one of international social work’s leading radical educators, provides a richly compelling argument for the profession to become more critical and dissenting.

Addressing the troubled times in which we find ourselves, Garrett’s book examines a broad range of theoretical frameworks and draws on diverse writers, such as Marx, Foucault, Brown, Zuboff, Rancière, Wacquant, Arendt, Levinas, Fanon and Gramsci. The author’s panoramic vision encompasses Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Algeria, Israel/Palestine and China. Timely, lively and accessible, this book speaks directly to some of the main preoccupations of our era. Readers will be encouraged to relate developments in social work to key themes circulating around migration, the threat of neo-fascism, surveillance culture, colonialism, the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. Imbued with a sense of hope for a brighter future, this book encourages a new generation of social work students to recognise and examine the importance of critical theory for understanding the structural forces shaping their lives and the lives of those with whom they work and provide services.

This book is vital, indispensable and essential reading for social work students and other readers, throughout the world, seeking to make the connection between social work, social theory and sociology.

Paul Michael Garrett—probably the most important critical social work theorist in the English-speaking world—is a remarkable and very productive critical thinker. In this book he deals with issues of migration, the threat of neo-fascism, surveillance culture, colonialism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the COVID-19 pandemic… Insightful and inspiring, thought-provoking and comprehensive in addressing timely critical issues for social work globally.

(Filipe Duarte, International Journal of Social Welfare, 2021)  



Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgements

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Questioning the world of ‘appearances’: Karl Marx

Chapter 3. Neoliberalism, human capital and biopolitics: Michel Foucault and Wendy Brown

Chapter 4. Surveillance capitalism: Shoshana Zuboff

Chapter 5. Equality NOW: Jacques Rancière

Chapter 6. Critical Scholarship and neoliberal penality: Loïc Wacquant

Chapter 7. Dissenting with the arch-contrarian: Hannah Arendt

Chapter 8. Remembering that African, Asian and Palestinian lives matter: Emmanuel Levinas

Chapter 9. It is becoming ‘impossible to breathe’: Frantz Fanon

Chapter 10. Social work’s Chinese future?: Antonio Gramsci

Chapter 11. Conclusion



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Paul Michael Garrett works as a professor within the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway in the Republic of Ireland. A member of the Irish Royal Academy, he is the author of several books and his articles have appeared in journals across a range of disciplines.