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Critical community practice 2


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  • 1. Critical Community Practice 2
  • 2. 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. 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)
  • 4. 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
  • 5. 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)
  • 6. “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
  • 7. myths of neoliberalism
    • „We cannot afford the welfare state any
    • „the fat years are over!“
    • „performance must be worthwhile!“
    • less state more private!
    • If the economy is doing well, everbody
    is doing well
  • 8. 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
  • 9. “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?
  • 10. 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
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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
  • 13. 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
  • 14. 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.
  • 15. 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
  • 16. Economic efficiency insteadprofessionality
    success in saving costs more important than success in support
    Budgeting performance contracts
    Advice and care services transformed to products
  • 17. 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