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  • Author or Editor: Holger Schoneville x
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In his chapter Holger Schoneville argues that a social work perspective on poverty has to be informed by a theory of subjectivity. He sets out to show what such a perspective entails and what role emotions, such as shame, play within it. He illustrates his argument through a research project that he conducted. One of the central questions of the project was, how people who are users of food banks in Germany experience their life and what these experiences mean for them in terms of their self-relationship and self-concept. The interviews with users of food banks reveal, that the emotion of shame is especially virulent when it comes to poverty. The analysis points out, that poverty not only means that people are faced with a lack of resources, but it also means that they are forced into living circumstances in which they face contradictions regarding their (self) expectations and their everyday reality. The chapter therefore highlights how the structure of social inequality, institutional forms of welfare and shame are interlinked.

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Theory, Reflexivity and Practice

For many service users and professionals in the field of social work, shame is an ongoing part of their daily experience.

Providing an in-depth examination of the complex phenomena of shame and humiliation, this book sets out key contextual issues and theoretical approaches to comprehend shame and its relevance within social work. It provides a broad understanding of shame, its underlying social and political contexts and its effects on service users and professionals.

The book uses innovative international scholarship and includes theoretical considerations, as well as empirical findings within the field of social work. It shows the importance of sensitive, reflective and relationship-oriented practice based on a better understanding of the complexity of shame.

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This chapter forms the land case study for Germany. As with all empirical chapters it explores several key themes in relation to food charity in Germany: • the history of food charity in the national context and the relationship between the welfare state and charities; • the nature of and drivers behind contemporary food charity provision; • key changes in social policy and their impact on rising charitable food provision; • and the social justice implications of increasing need for charitable assistance with food. The chapter concludes with critical reflections on the future direction of food charity provision in Germany and the implications of this.

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Shame is a powerful emotion in the context of social work. It affects individuals and attacks their subjectivity from within, and yet is also experienced in the here and now as a thoroughly social emotion that enmeshes the individual in society. It is therefore highly potent within the field of social work, for its service users, and in social work practice itself. People who become service users often live in social situations in which they are confronted with shame. This emotion can occur to service users by virtue of being in the social work system, and it can also be experienced by those recruited to alleviate social problems the social workers. This introduction will try to give some preliminary definitions, introduce the main concepts highlighted in the book, present the general structure of the latter, and briefly describe the content of each of its chapters.

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This book aims to approach the phenomenon of shame, especially in the context of social work. It explores the profoundly damaging experience of shame on the identities and potential of many service users, who, through, for example, the stigmatised experiences of poverty or abuse, are silenced within and disconnected from full participation in societies and communities. The book considers shame as a social, moral, and politically generated phenomenon, but equally focuses on the powerful, painful experience of each individual subjected to shaming. Having set out key contextual issues and theoretical approaches to understand shame, the book turns its attention to service users, more specifically young people and the poor. Finally, it offers examples of shame in relation to how social workers experience this in organisations and through, for example, human mistakes and limitations. In relation to shamed social workers and shamed service users, attention is given to how it might be possible to begin to address this painful state.

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This book aims to approach the phenomenon of shame, especially in the context of social work. It explores the profoundly damaging experience of shame on the identities and potential of many service users, who, through, for example, the stigmatised experiences of poverty or abuse, are silenced within and disconnected from full participation in societies and communities. The book considers shame as a social, moral, and politically generated phenomenon, but equally focuses on the powerful, painful experience of each individual subjected to shaming. Having set out key contextual issues and theoretical approaches to understand shame, the book turns its attention to service users, more specifically young people and the poor. Finally, it offers examples of shame in relation to how social workers experience this in organisations and through, for example, human mistakes and limitations. In relation to shamed social workers and shamed service users, attention is given to how it might be possible to begin to address this painful state.

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This book aims to approach the phenomenon of shame, especially in the context of social work. It explores the profoundly damaging experience of shame on the identities and potential of many service users, who, through, for example, the stigmatised experiences of poverty or abuse, are silenced within and disconnected from full participation in societies and communities. The book considers shame as a social, moral, and politically generated phenomenon, but equally focuses on the powerful, painful experience of each individual subjected to shaming. Having set out key contextual issues and theoretical approaches to understand shame, the book turns its attention to service users, more specifically young people and the poor. Finally, it offers examples of shame in relation to how social workers experience this in organisations and through, for example, human mistakes and limitations. In relation to shamed social workers and shamed service users, attention is given to how it might be possible to begin to address this painful state.

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