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This chapter considers how many concepts within social science are both seductive and slippery but demonstrates how students will benefit from being precise in how they use them. In being critical of wellbeing, especially in policy, the chapter considers how wellbeing is often individualised and also how it is that increasing numbers of children and young people report unhappiness with their lives.
This brief chapter returns the argument to Bronfenbrenner and asks students to consider the relevance of the book as a whole. It reiterates points that have been made throughout the book regarding why we need to consider social, cultural and political issues in respect of understanding children and families and draws attention to the study tips that have been raised. In particular though it summarises the need for a critical approach to be taken by raising the question that we should always be asking, ‘so what?’.
The chapter will discuss the concept of the ‘hybrid professional’. AMHPs are drawn from various professional origins and their knowledge areas span other areas of expertise outside of the officially sanctioned role of legal applicant under the Mental Health Act (MHA). Hybridity is a concept that can illuminate professional identities in the ways it speaks to formations of new occupational identities, the mixing of multiple identities and how professional identities can be understood in contemporary mental health practice. The author contends that hybridity implies an unsettling of identities and asks the reader to consider the difficulties of working with cultural and professional differences.
In Sweden, the gap between prosperity and poverty has increased over the last three decades. As a result, groups of youth are forced to live a strictly limited life in segregation and poverty. Youth living in these circumstances are often viewed as being at risk. The purpose of this article is to investigate how different professional groups – specifically, police officers, social workers and school health teams – talk about and describe the risks that young people face when growing up in disadvantaged urban areas and the various measures taken to deal with those they define as ‘youth at risk’. The results point towards how being at risk is made intelligible in relation to specific socio-spatial and institutional contexts. However, there is an overall tendency to individualise and situate problems within the youth themselves, thus making young people growing up in disadvantaged urban areas responsible for their own vulnerability.
This chapter takes a long-run view on how preindustrial political economy conceptualized, regulated and designed markets in the age of capitalism’s ascendancy. Drawing on select treatises from the scholastics to later ordoliberalism, the chapter examines how people framed and configured market economy and capitalism over the longer run. Often these entailed a physical-spatial dimension, from the layout of market stalls to the hours of market access and trading times. Features of these long-gone political economies continued to shape European economic practices to the present day. And they helped achieve long-term economic growth.
This chapter moves on to another field of empowering capitalism in the preindustrial age, looking at origins of creativity in manufacturing. It does so through a focus on economic writings and ideas. During the Renaissance, manufacturing became conceptualized as the main source of the wealth of nations. Somewhat unoriginally – given that many other authors had used the example as a case in point before – Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) commences with the example of a (pin) manufactory. But rather than discussing the full implications in terms of value-added and creativity, Smith chose to proceed by demonstrating that the true origin of wealth lay in the division of labour, improving the distributional efficiency of the existing market systems. But even for a preindustrial economy – Smith’s template of analysis – this wasn’t completely the case; political economy had much more in stock. Smith thus missed a great opportunity – where did the wealth of nations originate?
This article aims to explore how children are exposed to emotional demands in the transition from kindergarten to school. Psychosocial research and Hochschild’s work provide the underlying theoretical inspiration for the study. Hochschild’s concepts are used to frame the emotional demands children experience in everyday life in kindergarten and school, settings that can be seen as a workplace, albeit for children. Hochschild’s concepts and researchers inspired by her are often referred to when the work-life of adults is being studied, also when exploring stress and burnout at work. My study shows how children react to the emotional demands in their everyday lives in and across kindergarten and school and indicates that the emotion work they perform can sometimes cause emotional dissonance for children, just as it does for adults. The empirical basis for the discussion and conclusions consists of participatory observations conducted with children in the transition from kindergarten to primary school in the context of the Danish welfare state.
This chapter looks at a neglected conceptual history of capitalism’s temporalities. Knowing about the future has been one of the key ingredients of economic modernity. In modern capitalism the future is unknown but principally open, plannable and manageable. At least, that is the illusion, the conviction that humans equipped with instruments of reason, rationality and science may make reasonable forecasts about their future. Notions of an economic future had existed since the Middle Ages. The commercial revolutions in business, banking and commerce that had paved the material foundations of the Italian Renaissance cannot be imagined without some sort of future vision. But these were limited to specific actors and types of activities. Post-1600 models were different. They extended the realm of actors and number of individual open futures, desacralizing the human future from the general biblical context, within which most future visions before 1600 had firmly rested.
This article delineates the importance of critical social work understanding and engagement in social policy analysis and practice. Using a Marxist lens, we initially explore the context of globalisation and its challenges, and locate the contradictions inherent in capitalism for social policy, especially in a Latin American context. Our analysis considers the current capitalist and COVID-19 crisis, before reviewing the withdrawal of social policy in the reproduction of the workforce. We use Brazil as an example because, along with other Latin American countries, it has never witnessed the consolidation of government-supported, universal and comprehensive social policies to meet the needs of the entire population. We conclude that we continue to face a clash between capital and labour, which sets most global workers, especially those of underdeveloped countries, in a precarious, if not life-threatening, situation, and we highlight the importance for social work to engage critically with social policy.
Laying out argument and context for the book, the chapter argues that the history of modern capitalism and economic development commenced in the Renaissance. Contrary to many modern scholarly myths, capitalism was neither invented in the Anglosphere or the Netherlands, nor was capitalism a ‘second language’ to continental newcomers. There is an oft-acclaimed modern myth going back to Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations that claims that commerce and trade established the foundations for modern good governance, but in fact it was the other way round. Governance and economic order provided the foundations for economic development, and since the Renaissance a rich political economy literature – often subsumed under labels such as ‘mercantilism’ or ‘cameralism’ – had emerged that provided the key political-economic foundations for positive economic development. Looking at the experiences of the early modern German-speaking lands – which were radically different from the British (and Dutch) way in neither tune nor practice – I aim to rehabilitate the contributions made by continental mercantilist-cameralist political economy laying the foundations of capitalism and modern economic growth in the longue durée.