Social Work in a Corporate Era: Practices of Power and Resistance, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Social Work in a Corporate Era

Practices of Power and Resistance, 1st Edition

By Linda Davies

Edited by Peter Leonard


186 pages

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New in Paperback: 9781138383630
pub: 2019-06-10
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pub: 2004-11-28
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A striking new feature of the welfare systems in many Western countries is the extent to which market relations have permeated social services. Conceptions of 'risk management' now dominate the way parents and children are responded to, while new technologies aim to 'measure' their relationship with state service providers. Bureaucratic control is increasing, while resources are reduced. These factors have led to the demise of the traditional role of the social worker as one who engages with the client in a supportive encounter. Professional competence within social work is increasingly tied to 'mastering' scientific knowledge and new technical skills. The result of collaboration between authors from Canada, Britain and Australia, Social Work in a Corporate Era offers a critical overview of these developments and their implications. It provides a re-evaluation of the assumptions and practices of the critical social work tradition and explores the possibility of rebuilding an 'emancipatory' social work. The authors aim to disentangle the debate between Marxism, feminism and anti-racism, in the context of both postmodern challenges and the corporate restructuring of the welfare state. Calling for the development of a new politics of social work practice, this book addresses many of the urgent issues facing welfare state practitioners in health and social services today.


’An excellent text that takes a critical stand on the position social work occupies in Western countries…a must-read book for those who view social work with a critical eye.’ Community Care

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. Theory, Reflection, Emotion: The uses of theory and the problems of pessimism, Peter Leonard; Critical reflection and transformative possibilities, Jan Fook; Post-theories for practice: challenging the dogmas, Nigel Parton; Subject-to-subject: reclaiming the emotional terrain for practice, Linda Davies and Sara Collings. Cultural Politics, Language, Collectivity: Whose side are you on? politicized identities, Michele Gnanamuttu; Texts and power: toward a critical theory of language, Anthony Paré; The reprofessionalization of social work: collaborative approaches for achieving professional recognition, Karen Healy and Gabrielle Meagher. Narrative, Critical Consciousness, Emancipation: Older women negotiating uncertainty in everyday life: contesting risk management systems, Amanda Grenier; Disrupting the narrative of white tutelage: reflections on post-colonial social work education, Laura Mastronardi; Social work practice and research as an emancipatory process, Kamal Fahmi; A concluding reflection, Linda Davies and Peter Leonard; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Linda Davies is Associate Professor and Peter Leonard is Professor at the School of Social Work, McGill University, Canada.

About the Series

Contemporary Social Work Studies

Contemporary Social Work Studies
Contemporary Social Work Studies is a series disseminating high quality new research and scholarship in the discipline and profession of social work. The series promotes critical engagement with contemporary issues relevant across the social work community and captures the diversity of interests currently evident at national, international and local levels. CSWS is located in the School of Social Sciences (Social Work Studies Division) at the University of Southampton, UK and is a development from the successful series of books published by Ashgate in association with CEDR (the Centre for Evaluative and Developmental Research) from 1991.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy