Dissenting Social Work Critical Theory, Resistance and Pandemic
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)
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
‘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)
‘Garrett has a significant body of work and this is his latest book. In this 2021 publication, Garrett tackles some major challenges of our time and argues for social work solidarity and thoughtful activism…This book as an excellent resource for social work students at all levels, and for practitioners who still enjoy reading social work theory! For postgraduate students and researchers, Garrett always impeccably references both theoretical works and scholarly research and offers a rich resource for those seeking to make connections from sociological theory to social work in our current climate’.
(Liz Beddoe, Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 2021)
‘Drawing on a variety of theorists and covering various countries, it is certainly a compelling read. It deals with some of the main preoccupations of our time such as migration, the threat of neo-fascism, colonialism, surveillance culture, the Black Lives Matter movement and the Covid-19 pandemic...This is a book which will be essential reading for social work students, practitioners and others who want to make connections between social work, social theory and sociology’
(Steve Rogowski, Practice: Social Work in Action, 2021)
‘Nine chapters written with passion and erudition, but at the same time understandable and accessible…I found the whole book very inspiring. Perhaps this is because it arouses controversy, which in turn helps crystallise the reader’s convictions’
(Mariusz Granosik, Czech and Slovak Social Work, Summer 2021)
‘The book is [an] extremely rich, thought provoking and undoubtedly adds to the canon of social work literature, knowledge and understanding. Dissenting social work (DSW) is described as a questioning mindset that interrogates the dominant ways of understanding society from within the discipline of social work. This is a familiar theme in the social work literature, but Garrett’s approach to its exploration and the explicit framing of DSW is innovative and original’
(Jane Fenton, British Journal of Social Work, 2022)
‘Paul Michael Garrett is a fast rising star in the field of critical social work. Through a series of books published over the last decade he has become a most prominent voice in articulating the relevance of social and political theory for understanding the potential and constraints in making social work an agent for striving toward a more just world. Dissenting social work is his latest effort and perhaps his most effective…This is a book of profound theoretical insight that offers real practical wisdom for social work today’
(Sanford Schram, Journal of Political Power, 2022)
‘Paul Michael Garrett is a leading global scholar in critical social theory with a creative and encyclopaedic mind, and much of this is on display in this book. Once again, therefore, he has succeeded in making a profoundly valuable contribution to the global social work academy. In short, by adding to the much-needed Leftist scholarship in the discipline of social work, Dissenting Social Work furnishes an intellectual feast that brings critical social theory and social work into a deeply serious and productive conversation’.
(Christine Morley & Selma MacFarlane, Critical Social Policy, 2022)
‘This book is a very relevant challenge to researchers, lecturers, and students of social work and social pedagogy. I recommend it as much as possible’.
(Niels Rosendal Jensen, European Journal of Social Work, 2022)
‘While doing my PhD more than 10 years ago, I came across an inspiring book: Social Work and Social Theory: Making Connections (Policy Press, 2013]. From that moment on, I began to follow Paul Michael Garrett’s scholarly contributions and I discovered his work on critical theory and social work to be exceptionally sharp, rigorous and conceptually dense that I could not help but share his contributions with my colleagues. Always on top of key debates and participating in controversial discussions, Garrett is an exceptional author, a source of pride for our profession and discipline. Dissenting Social Work: Critical Theory, Resistance and Pandemic is a work that could not be more timely…I highly recommend this book, as it provides relevant contributions to think and imagine a critical Social Work in our current turbulent time, and to strengthen the conceptual tools used to interpret the world to come. It will undoubtedly open up new questions and possibilities to think critically as a discipline and to exchange views with colleagues from other latitudes’.
(Gianinna Muñoz Arce, Critical Proposals in Social Work, [Propuestas Críticas en Trabajo Social, Chile], 2022)
‘Dissenting Social Work: Critical Theory, Resistance, and Pandemic is important reading for social work practitioners, educators, students, theorists, and researchers for accruing knowledge central to the development of critical analytical skills’.
(Patricia Kolb, Affilia: Feminist Inquiry in Social Work, 2022)