Our Social Work publishing features books and journals that help to address issues arising from poverty, inequality and social injustice.
The list includes monographs, textbooks and practitioner guides, series, including Research in Social Work co-published with the European Social Work Research Association, and the Critical and Radical Social Work and European Social Work Research journals.
Policy Press is the leading UK book publisher for books on child abuse, child sexual exploitation, child protection and children’s social work.
You are looking at 101 - 110 of 3,683 items
In light of the last chapter, this one considers the limitations of “toxic” and recommends “viral masculinity” as a metaphor suited to the challenge ahead. A poison control frame does not address the transnational movement of manly grievance because it concentrates on the substance (ideology) instead of how it gets passed around (feeling). Viral mitigation better captures a pandemic of feeling and redirects focus accordingly: from stopping individual ingestion to slowing communal transmission. Viral masculinity is more than a metaphor, in fact. Short of a biomedical virus, it is a physical transfer of social feeling through bodies, technologies, and other material means. Aggrieved masculinity is a genuine sociophysical pandemic.
This chapter specifies the sort of populism on the move today, dubbing it “New Populism” for ease while stressing its plurality and contextual variation (populisms). The guiding question is: What is both familiar and novel about New Populism? New Populism exhibits all five “clues” from Chapter 7, but with significant twists, including close ties to democratization, intensified antagonism, a (re)possessive attitude toward democracy, a focus on electoral victory, governance through anti-government, commiseration with a besieged leader, reliance on sociotechnical infrastructures and their ‘viral’ affordances, and a priority on feeling over ideology—specifically, the feeling of “aggrieved entitlement.” Overall, the chapter defines New Populism not by what it says but what it does, which is alter how democracy operates around the world.
Gender-first analysis exposes a different motivating history for New Populism than the one typically told. This chapter demonstrates that in the US context by tracing the claim that masculinity is in crisis. Time and again, ‘crises’ of manhood appropriate class, folding privileged men into a ‘working class’ of wounded manhood. The chapter zooms in on the past two decades, in which New Populism exploded. Through a layered analysis of momentum from Fight Club to Joker, it shows a continual escalation of aggrieved masculinity up to the nihilistic present. Nothing can soothe this cross-class ‘crisis’—some 50 years in the making—because the manly supremacies it seeks are unsustainable. ‘Crises’ of masculinity drive the spread of New Populism. Increasingly, they endanger us all, even those they claim to serve.
This chapter exercises the analytical ‘muscles’ developed in the previous chapter. It applies the sociophysical approach to a second narrative about gender during COVID-19: “mask-ulinity,” or the notion that men resist face-covering more than women. The chapter analyzes a mask-ulinity incident that went viral in 2020 and rejects the popular reading that toxic masculinity, or ‘bad’ gender ideology, is what leads men to such actions. A sociophysical approach rereads mask-ulinity like this: Wearing a mask stirs an unnerving physical sensation of permeability for bodies accustomed (or ‘entitled’) to feeling impermeable. The chapter illustrates how feelings of gender come upon us, such that ‘the smile makes the woman’ and ‘the outburst makes the man’—reversing how we usually think of it. People are not entirely aware or in control when it comes to feeling gender.
This chapter works through the most common defenses by which gender is dismissed or downplayed as a viable cause of New Populism. These include: (1) ‘women do it too’; (2) ‘politics are patriarchal’; (3) ‘masculinist extremism is a fringe element’; (4) ‘populism is the opposite of identity politics’; (5) ‘even feminists agree’; (6) ‘the populism-identity politics distinction is important to maintain’; and (7) ‘class is more important and broadly human than gender.’ These habitual responses are sociophysical, in that they condition our senses to perceive and process New Populism in predictable ways. The knowledge and skills of Part I are needed to disarm the physical reflexes by which we deny the centrality of gender—specifically, the gender binary and normativity—to New Populism.
Is populism fueled by a feeling of manhood under attack? If gender is the impetus, are there better ways to respond? This book upends prevailing wisdom about contemporary populism. Whereas most attribute its global rise to socioeconomic shifts, this book makes the case for a different cause by taking seriously the prevalence of certain men and manly energies in today’s populist politics. Aggrieved masculinity is the shared feeling at the heart of these movements, and their worldwide outbreak should be reread accordingly—as a sign that a seething sense of “manly right, wronged” has gone viral and global. COVID-19 delivered a stark warning about this pandemic of manly outrage: It endangers public health. This book introduces “viral masculinity” as a novel way to meet that growing threat by tackling the deep connection of our social and physical worlds. Leading with gender without leaving class, race, and other vital factors behind, the book develops a new course of action toward populism today. It compels us to ask not what populism says, but how it spreads, and to realign our efforts accordingly. You need not know or care about gender to get invested in this analysis. You need only be invested in our common future.
This chapter takes on the final question of Part II: Can we formulate a concern in common that isn’t anti-populist? Answering in the affirmative, it introduces the notion of anger management, shorthand for a mode of governance that ‘leads’ by stoking aggrieved entitlement (keeping victimized anger on simmer, ready to boil over on cue). COVID-19 offered a taste of how destructive anger management can be, and bigger challenges of interdependence like climate change lie ahead. Aiming our concern at anger management need not invite technocracy, or handing the reins over to the ‘experts.’ Rather, the common concern is for life, and the goal is to care for public health, not to pronounce moral threats to democracy. There is a bigger threat, which is that anger management can kill us with its bluster. The chapter introduces pufferfish as an icon for this problem. Anger management—or ‘government by pufferfish’—is a maladapted reflex that is undeniably bad for the world.
This chapter identifies the ‘hard versus soft’ binary as a major way we carve up the world. We use this binary to differentiate things and secure their relative nature and value—as strong versus weak, for example. Through ‘hard and soft,’ we come to think of the material world as separate from the social realm, the former rigid against the latter’s flexibility. The chapter introduces an alternative to this common division, a sociophysical approach that regards life’s social and material dimensions as one—indivisible and mutually influential in shaping the world. It then reveals that the ‘hard–soft’ split is the gender binary. This core dualism inhibits our thinking and yields significant real-world consequences. To better understand contemporary populism, we must let go of the gender binary. Part I seeks to upgrade our gender analytical skills accordingly.
This chapter begins the work of dismantling the gender binary. It does so through a popular narrative about gender and leadership that resurfaced during COVID-19, which contrasted the bungled response of populist “strongmen” with the success of governments led by women. Reacting to this narrative in an intentionally emotive way, the chapter both shows how it recycles ‘common sense’ ideas about gender and evokes frustration at the dead ends where ideas like this lead. To get out of these culs-de-sac, we can stop treating ‘men’ and ‘women’ as the given starting point of gender analysis. A better opening question is how apparent men and women come to be, or how they happen in everyday life. The chapter redefines gender as mundane encounters that become real and compelling by continuing to happen.
Armed with a new sense of gender from Part I, this chapter delves into that ‘thing’ called populism which is growing around the globe. The chapter sets the task of Part II: to develop a better ‘feel’ for contemporary populism. Key questions include what sort of feeling defines populism, whether it’s cause for concern and what kind, who are ‘we’ to say so, and are expressions of concern inherently anti-populist? Following the thread from the COVID-19 lockdown protests through the January 6 US Capitol riot, an energetic signature is discernible: victimized anger in search of more outlets. Is this a populist uprising, after all?