Power Max Weber- power is ‘the probability that a person will be able to carry out his or her own will in pursuit of goals of action, regardless of resistance’ (Weber 1947 p152) C Wright Mills “whatever decisions men (sic) make about the arrangements under which they live, and about the events which make up the history of their period” (Mills 2000 p50) Power is inscribed in discourse; embedded in the very language we use (Butcher et al 2009 p23)
3 dimensions of power Decision-making- observable and measurable exercise of power between two or more parties to resolve a conflict of interest Non-decision making- used to prevent critical issues getting to the decision-making stage Ability to mould desires, wishes and felt needs of the less powerful (Lukes 2003)
Discourse A language set of meanings, metaphors, representations, images, stories, statements and so on that in some way produce a particular version of events (Burr 2003 p48) social constructionism Discourses are about what can be said and thought.. Who can speak, when and with what authority…..Certain possibilities for thought are constructed. Words are ordered and combined in particular ways, and other combinations are displaced or excluded (Ball 1990 p.2 ) Foucault and education: disciplines and knowledge
The ruling morals are the moralsof the rulers “Reality not an objective truth or facts to be discovered but includes the ways in which people involved with facts perceive them.. The concrete reality is the connection between the subjectivity and objectivity, never objectivity isolated from subjectivity.” (Paulo Freire, 1982)
“Real power doesn’t make any noise”. (Grossberg,1992:311) We Gotta Get Outta This Place: Politics and Popular Culture in Contemporary America by Lawrence Grossberg, TrudiGershenovroutledge
myths of neoliberalism • „We cannot afford the welfare state any longer“ • „the fat years are over!“ • „performance must be worthwhile!“ • less state more private! • If the economy is doing well, everbody is doing well
What we really means is: We don‘t want to afford the welfare state any longer! What we can afford depends on what politicians want to afford There is enough money but it is distributed unequally There is enough for everybodiesneeds but not enough for the greed of some people
“performance must beworthwile!“ Huge wage gap between (normal) employees and managers –1:250 to 1:550 Can a person really do 250 (550) times more than someone else? Or even add 250 times more value?
Economization of all areas oflife the market as an universal model of Organisation all areas of life are subjected to the logic of the market, the logic of economic optimization. individual = human capital
neoliberalism and social policy “Every man is the architect of his own fortune!“ accredited to Roman censor Appius Claudius Caecus (4th-3rd cent. Bc) poverty as a crisis of one‘s own making – just penalty for non performance
Workfare instead of Welfare unemployment is reinterpreted as a problem of individuals and their weakness of character and lack of willingness to perform Worker is unable to sell himself or his work successfully on the market. the pressure to work is intensified in a crisis situation where there are not enough jobs but enough people willing to work
Welfare-market and Workfare-state Welfare-market:– only citizens who can afford it buy social Security Work-fare-state: – Only minimum benefits which save people from starving or freezing to death – apart from that: needs are entrusted to private charity
Poisoning our thoughts Saving-debates– demolition of the welfare state Catchphrases: abusers of welfare state, social scroungers, social hammock– divert suspicion from the real culprits victims become offenders: The unemployed, the homeless and welfare recipients are responsible for empty public purses, not the tax-evading multinational concerns and multi-billionaires.
Competition instead of solidarity „Creaming“- effects in fringe groups – Displacement of the weakest clients in favour of people who are more easily looked after with positive results. Only those clients are advised who did not cause their predicament through gross negligence and who can be settled with little cost to the financial backer Quality standards dropped to get the biggest piece of the budget-cake Marketing of the product instead public relations for the clientele
Economic efficiency insteadprofessionality success in saving costs more important than success in support Budgeting performance contracts Advice and care services transformed to products
Critical community practice Whether someone gets the necessary means for a life worth living cannot be decided by the market Social work is not a ware/product but the result of the common efforts of all participants and the simultaneous management of circumstances, which makes success more likely. The demand for more effectiveness and efficiency of the welfare state and social work must correspond with the demand for social responsibility of the economy social monitoring of the violation of human rights and social rights by the economy