The Routledge Handbook of Critical Pedagogies for Social Work  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Critical Pedagogies for Social Work

ISBN 9781138545748
Published February 3, 2020 by Routledge
584 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Critical Pedagogies for Social Work traverses new territory by providing a cutting-edge overview of the work of classic and contemporary theorists, in a way that expands their application and utility in social work education and practice; thus, providing a bridge between critical theory, philosophy, and social work.

Each chapter showcases the work of a specific critical educational, philosophical, and/or social theorist including: Henry Giroux, Michel Foucault, Cornelius Castoriadis, Herbert Marcuse, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Joan Tronto, Iris Marion Young, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, and many others, to elucidate the ways in which their key pedagogic concepts can be applied to specific aspects of social work education and practice. The text exhibits a range of research-based approaches to educating social work practitioners as agents of social change. It provides a robust, and much needed, alternative paradigm to the technique-driven ‘conservative revolution’ currently being fostered by neoliberalism in both social work education and practice.

The volume will be instructive for social work educators who aim to teach for social change, by assisting students to develop counter-hegemonic practices of resistance and agency, and reflecting on the pedagogic role of social work practice more widely. The volume holds relevance for both postgraduate and undergraduate/qualifying social work and human services courses around the world.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The imperative of critical pedagogies for social work

Christine Morley, Phillip Ablett, Carolyn Noble

Part 1: Key foundational concepts

2. Karl Marx: Capitalism, alienation and social work

Michael Lavalette

3. Reaching Back to Go Forward:  Applying the Enduring Philosophy of Jane Addams to Modern Day Social Work Education

Carolyn Hanesworth

4. Lifting the veil of our own consciousness: W.E.B. DuBois and transformative pedagogies for social work

David Hollinsworth

5. Reaching Higher Ground– the importance of Lev Vygotsky’s therapeutic legacy for Social Work
Katherine Reid

6. A Prophet without Honor: Bertha Capen Reynolds’ Contribution to Social Work’s Critical Practice & Pedagogy Michael Reisch

7. ‘Reflecting on Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks: Marxism and Social Work

Paul Michael Garrett

8. From Language to Art: A Marcusian Approach to Critical Social Work Pedagogy

Adi Barak

9. Theodor Adorno: ‘Education after Auschwitz’ – Contributions towards a critical social work pedagogy John Fox

10. Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy for critical consciousness and practice

Stephen Cowden, Nilan Yu, Wilder Robles and Debora Mazza

11. Teaching democracy in the social work and human service classroom: Inspiration from Myles Horton and the Highlander Folk School

Trevor Gates

12. Pedagogy and power through a Foucauldian lens

Julie King

13. ‘A social work counter-pedagogy yet-to-come’: Jacques Derrida and critical social work education and practice

Peter Westoby

14. From privileged irresponsibility to shared responsibility for social injustice: The contribution of Joan Tronto and Iris Marion Young to critical pedagogies of privilege

Bob Pease

15. Critical social work education as democratic Paideia: Inspiration from Cornelius Castoriadis to educate for democracy and autonomy

Phillip Ablett and Christine Morley

16. Sociology for the people: Dorothy Smith’s Sociology for Social Work

Michelle Newcomb

17. Henry Giroux’s vision of critical pedagogy: Educating social work activists for a radical democracy

Christine Morley and Phillip Ablett

18. Social work through the pedagogical lens of Jacques Rancière

Stephen Cowden

19. Giorgio Agamben – Sovereign power, bio-politics and the totalitarian tendencies within societies

Goetz Ottmann and Iris Silva Brito

20. Avashai Margalit’s Concept of Decency: Potential for the lived experience project in social work?

Lorna Hallahan

21. The Relevance of Nancy Fraser for Transformative Social Work Education

Mel Gray, Dorothee Hölscher and Vivienne Bozalek

22. Roberto Esposito, biopolitics and social work

Stephen A Webb

23. Gilles Deleuze: Social Work from the position of the encounter

Dr Heather Lynch

Part 2: Specific applications: Fields of practice, Postcolonial and Southern Voices, Practice Methods, and Fields of Practice

24. Donna Haraway: Cyborgs, Making Kin and the Chthulucene in a Post-Human World

Jim Ife

25. Critical (Animal) Social Work: Insights from Ecofeminist & Critical Animal Studies in the Context of Neoliberalism

Heather Fraser and Nik Taylor

26. Piketty’s inequality and educational convergence concepts for transformative social policy practice

Jennifer Mays

27. The radical potential of Carl Jung’s wounded healer for social work education

Selma Macfarlane

28. Embedding the queer and embracing the crisis: Drawing on Kevin Kumashiro’s anti oppressive pedagogies for social work education and practice.

Jen Kaighin

29. The Panopticon Effect: Understanding Gendered Subjects of Coercive Control through a reading of Judith Butler

Jamilla Rosdahl

30. Disrupting Ableism in social work pedagogy through Merleau-Ponty and critical disability theory.

Lisa Stafford

Postcolonial and Southern Pedagogies

31. No more ‘Blacks in the Back’: Adding more than a ‘splash’ of Black into social work education and practice by drawing on the works of Aileen Moreton-Robinson and others who contribute to Indigenous Standpoint Theory

Jennie Briese and Kelly Menzel

32. Engaged Buddhism, Embodiment, and the Legacy of Joanna Macy

Loretta Pyles

33. Frantz Fanon’s Revolutionary Contribution: An Attitude of Decolonailty as Critical Pedagogy for Social Work

Linda Smith

34. Samkange’s theory of Ubuntu and its contribution to a decolonised social work pedagogy

Jacob Mugumbate

35. The relevance of Gandhism for Social Work Education And Practice

Lata Narayan

Practice methods

36. Teaching community development with Hannah Arendt: Enabling new emancipatory possibilities

Uschi Bay

37. The Transformation and Integration of Society; Developing Social Work Pedagogy through Jürgen Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action

Rúna í Baianstovu and Phillip Ablett

38. Alain Touraine:  The politics of collective action

Carolyn Noble and Goetz Ottmann

39. Augusto Boal and Hans George Gadamer: A complimentary relationship toward critical performance pedagogy in social work education.

Jean Carrathurs and Phillip Ablett

40. Critical transformative learning and social work education: Jack Mezirow’s transformative learning theory

Peter Jones

41. bell hooks’ trilogy: Pedagogy for social work supervision

Carolyn Noble

42. Navigating the Politics and Practice of Social Work Research: With Advice from Pierre Bourdieu

Mark Brough, Barbara Adkins and Rod Kippax

43. Stephen Brookfield’s contribution to teaching and practising critical reflection in social work

Christine Morley


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Christine Morley is Professor and Head of the Social Work and Human Services Discipline in the School of Public Health and Social Work at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, and Adjunct Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

Phillip Ablett is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology, teaching in the social work and human services programmes in the School of Social Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.  

Carolyn Noble is Professor of Social Work at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) in Sydney and Emerita Professor of Social Work at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.

Stephen Cowden is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Coventry University, UK, where he has worked since 2001.? 


"This groundbreaking work forges tantalizing connections between the socially grounded practice of critical education and the educationally grounded practice of critical social work. A range of politically charged practice settings are analyzed through a variety of provocative theoretical lenses in a volume that is sure to become a reference point for anyone interested in the critical practice of social work." - Stephen Brookfield, John Ireland Endowed Chair, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, USA

"This book is a first for social work.  It delves into a comprehensive range of theories to ensure that practice is informed by critical pedagogy. A much-needed l resource for educators, students and practitioners in the quest for the application of knowledge that contributes to social change."Professor Linda Briskman, PhD, Margaret Whitlam Chair of Social Work, Western Sydney University, Australia

"This innovative book brings together high profile international academics, to reflect on critical pedagogies for social work education.  It is the first time that is possible to access to a compendium of classic and contemporary theorists and to have a comprehensive overview on how their key pedagogic concepts can be applied to specific aspects of social work education and practice. It is a must-read book for academics that want to prepare social workers to be committed for social change and develop counter-hegemonic practices of resistance and agency."Professor Annamaria Campanini PhD, President, International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), Bicocca University, Milan, Italy

"Critical scholarship of all kinds is more needed in the world, than ever before. Cementing the link between critical theory and critical pedagogy in social work, this book delivers gold standard analysis and insights on this under-researched and centrally important topic."Donna Baines, Director and Professor of Social Work, University of British Columbia, Canada

"This volume pulls together critical theories about pedagogy in a new way to strongly inform social work education. It is a great to see this collection of theories which value adds to the specific impact of each. The book provides an exciting, and itself transformative, perspective on how social work education needs to be enlivened, enriched and made more effective in achieving a social change agenda. Compulsory reading for any social worker, and social work educator, who pride themselves on creating a social justice profession."Professor Jan Fook, PhD FAcSS Professor and Chair, Department of Social Work, University of Vermont, USA

"This volume parades a breathtaking range of thinkers, pioneers of disciplines and activists, some of whom have rarely been made relevant for social work. It not only inspires new, critical approaches to teaching social work, but above all asserts the firm place social work as a discipline can command in today’s academic context. Drawing on these contributions, social work teachers and practitioners can look afresh at social work’s transformative potential as discipline and profession and confidently break through the many political, managerial and academic constraints that threaten to stifle practice, teaching and research today.  A pioneering achievement." Professsor Walter Lorenz, PhD Charles University, Prague. Formerly Free University of Bolzano, Italy