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This article elaborates on a theoretically informed model of action rooted in the concept of professional resistance, which approaches groups of people and social problems in an alternative way to the dominant modes of managerial practice. The aim is to create conditions for approaching groups with social needs differently and to be able to act politically for social change within contemporary society. We will do this by exploring the potential of the assembly in line with Hardt, Negri and Butler, as well as the notion of transversal politics as developed by Yuval-Davis, for creating political subjectivities and alliances across differences. The reason for this theoretical approach is based on how the effects of categorisation and its political function can sometimes be challenging to identify. This is argued to especially be the case within a neoliberal capitalist society where categories induce competition between precarious groups to maintain the political status quo.

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Existing research demonstrates at least threefold higher rates of maltreatment for disabled children than for their non-disabled peers. The situation is compounded by pervasive impediments to effective safeguarding practice for disabled children. While scholarly attention to this area is growing, one aspect remains thoroughly neglected in the Irish context, namely, historical accounts of disability and child protection are stark by their absence. This article presents key historical changes in child protection and welfare practice for disabled children from 1960 to 2023 in the Republic of Ireland. The account illustrates how discourses of risk aversion, rights and inclusion have collided with increased bureaucratisation and state regulation. Towards achieving a critical theoretical exposition of the history, conceptual conventions of the ‘5-P’ child protection model (prevention, paramountcy, partnership, protection and parental responsibility) are applied. Key lessons for policymakers and practitioners about the sociocultural construction of child protection and disability are then extracted and, with respect to informing future practice, critically explored.

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What constitutes social work is a central question in theory building. If social work wants to be more than a model idea, we cannot answer this question without looking at social work practice. The article presents ‘doing social work’ as an approach to theorising social work through ethnographic research. In addition to the basic theoretical and methodological characteristics of the approach, we present four modes of doing social work, which have been developed based on a comparison of different ethnographic studies in different fields: deciding in uncertainty; playing with ambiguity; using categories of difference; and disciplining the everyday. In the following, the mode of playing with ambiguity will be singled out and presented in detail, as it has an important impact on doing relationship while doing social work. In the article, we will use ethnographic data and examples to show how actors actively deal with different roles without making this explicit.

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While education is expected to play a significant role in responding to global social challenges, sustainable development discourses often fail to attend to issues of pedagogy, purpose and process. In this paper, we argue that one way to focus arguments on educational practice is through considerations of the relationship between education as justice and education for justice. We do this through discussing one form of justice in education – epistemic justice – and developing our conceptualisation of an epistemic core. Drawing on Elmore’s instructional core, this includes openness to students’ experiences and the place where they live, rich pedagogies and a broad range of epistemic resources. We argue that this is one way that secondary education’s contribution to sustainable and just futures could be made more concretely possible.

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The quantitative monitoring of the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of interventions is central to a living-lab approach and is a methodological challenge. Valid population data on consumption patterns and mobility behaviour are often scarce, especially when the living lab is initially set up (for example, the need for baseline data before an intervention). In the context of transportation studies, a cross-sectional survey was carried out to baseline key data on GHG emissions generated by commuting before implementing an intervention. Based on this information, the GHG emissions from commuting were calculated and analysed using a linear regression model. Results show the effects of different variables, such as the share of teleworking within a working week, the regular workplace location, and attitudes towards individual mobility and former relocation behaviour. An increase in teleworking of 10 per cent based on weekly working time leads to a reduction of approximately 60 kg of GHG (8 per cent) emissions a year. Our results serve as baseline key data to analyse upcoming (temporary) interventions (for example, new coworking spaces within our living lab). Hints for rebound effects, limitations of our study and future interventions are discussed.

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This discussion paper considers reasons for a decline in formal volunteering in the UK, which include: a trend away from collective to individual social activity, an increase in inequality, a reduction in available time, and a crowding out of social values by market values. It then considers if this decline could be reversed.

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Climate change is a universal challenge that affects every country, community and individual. Importantly, its discourse requires collective participation from all academic disciplines, professionals, government sectors, classes and persons at a larger scale, not elite-imposed values. By adopting the critical paradigm, this article reviews the relevance of Ubuntu philosophy as an epistemic value of ordinary African people and of social work, which needs to be appreciated in climate change discourse. Most importantly, the hegemony of the imperialist values of the elite is explicated herein through the adoption of the narrative literature review method. The discussions highlight the nexus and relevance of a climate change discourse that should also be co-driven by social work and ordinary African people through the Ubuntu philosophy. For sustainable livelihoods, this article argues that Ubuntu, as an Afrocentric attitude, challenges the Western values of individuality and living for today without considering others and future generations.

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The article brings together the social psychoanalytic approach by Erich Fromm with current research on nationalism in Western democratic societies. While current research often focuses on the extreme forms of nationalism, the work of Erich Fromm contributes to an understanding of nationalism that encompasses the whole society in a world structured by nation states. The notion of a social unconscious helps to reflect upon both visible and often unnoticed forms of nationalism and links it to an interconnected understanding of psychic and social structure. With Fromm we can understand nationalism as collective narcissism which has been preceded by a loss of self-esteem. Relevant threats to self-esteem in Western democratic societies shaped by a neoliberal ideology, like individualisation and singularisation, will be outlined in the article.

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