A striking new feature of the welfare systems in many Western countries is the extent to which market relations have permeated social services. Conceptions of 'risk management' now dominate the way parents and children are responded to, while new technologies aim to 'measure' their relationship with state service providers. Bureaucratic control is increasing, while resources are reduced. These factors have led to the demise of the traditional role of the social worker as one who engages with the client in a supportive encounter. Professional competence within social work is increasingly tied to 'mastering' scientific knowledge and new technical skills. The result of collaboration between authors from Canada, Britain and Australia, Social Work in a Corporate Era offers a critical overview of these developments and their implications. It provides a re-evaluation of the assumptions and practices of the critical social work tradition and explores the possibility of rebuilding an 'emancipatory' social work. The authors aim to disentangle the debate between Marxism, feminism and anti-racism, in the context of both postmodern challenges and the corporate restructuring of the welfare state. Calling for the development of a new politics of social work practice, this book addresses many of the urgent issues facing welfare state practitioners in health and social services today.

part I|56 pages

Theory, Reflection, Emotion

chapter 1|13 pages

The Uses of Theory and the Problems of Pessimism

ByPeter Leonard

chapter 2|15 pages

Critical Reflection and Transformative Possibilities

ByJan Fook

chapter 3|14 pages

Post-Theories for Practice: Challenging the Dogmas

ByNigel Parton

chapter 4|12 pages

Subject-to-Subject: Reclaiming the Emotional Terrain for Practice

ByLinda Davies, Sara Collings

part II|51 pages

Cultural Politics, Language, Collectivity

chapter 5|17 pages

Whose Side Are You On? Politicized Identities

ByMichele Gnanamuttu

chapter 6|15 pages

Texts and Power: Toward a Critical Theory of Language

ByAnthony Paré

part III|51 pages

Narrative, Critical Consciousness, Emancipation