Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2007): Community regeneration and development - UK

Community development and the politics of community

M. Shaw

Community Development Journal, vol. 43, 2008, p. 24-36

Community development has been, and continues to be, subject to competing rationalities, inhabiting a position at the intersection of a range of opposing ideas, traditions, visions and interests and claimed by the political right, left and centre with equal enthusiasm. It exercises a continuous attraction as a mediator between the state and particular problem constituencies. It can be appropriated both to maintain the status quo and preserve privilege, and can also create a public space for the expression of various forms of common position and collective identity. It can reinforce existing unequal and divisive social relations of power, or it can provide a lens through which existing structures can be critically scrutinised in order to find a way to create a more equal, supportive and sustainable alternative.

Going local: working in communities and neighbourhoods

J. Pierson

London: Routledge, 2008

The book explains how social work students and practitioners can develop approaches to neighbourhood work, in order to engage communities more purposefully and to work with citizens and other mainstream and community service providers to build the capacity of neighbourhoods to tackle social problems on their own. Each chapter includes objectives and key points, as well as case studies and activities where appropriate, and the topics discussed include:

  • why social work services need to 'go local'
  • principles, skills and tools to enhance local working joined up practice
  • care and services for children, families, young people, older people and other vulnerable adults
  • social cohesion and the role of practitioners in overcoming local religious and ethnic divisions
Search Welfare Reform on the Web