Vulnerability has traditionally been conceived as a dichotomised status, where an individual by reason of a personal characteristic is classified as vulnerable or not. However, vulnerability is not static, and most, if not all, people are vulnerable at some time in their lives. Similarly, marginality is a social construct linked to power and control. Marginalised populations are relegated to the perimeters of power by legal and political structures and limited access to resources. Neither are fixed or essential categories.
This book draws on international research and scholarship related to these constructs, exploring vulnerability and marginality as they intersect with power and privilege. This exploration is undertaken through the lenses of intimacy and sexuality to consider vulnerability and marginality in the most personal of ways. This includes examining these concepts in relation to a range of professions, including social work, psychology, nursing, and allied health. A strong emphasis on the fluidity and complexity of vulnerability and marginality across cultures and at different times makes this a unique contribution to scholarship in this field.
This is essential reading for students and researchers involved with social work, social policy, sociology, and gender and sexuality studies.
Table of Contents
1. Why this book?
2. Vulnerability and marginality
3. Intimacy and sexuality
4. Critiquing power and privilege
5. Delivery of care: setting out the challenges
6. Restoring the human to human services
7. Practice research with vulnerable and marginalised communities
8. Research ethics
9. Re-imagining vulnerability and marginality: assessing the claims
Mark Henrickson is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand. His work experience and research interests are in HIV/AIDS and the communities that have been most heavily impacted by HIV: sexual and gender minorities, substance misusers, and the African diaspora.
Christa Fouché is Professor in the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her work experience and research interests are in HIV/AIDS, palliative care, chronic illness, and the organisational context of health and social service delivery.