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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2011): Social care - overseas

(Re)assembling the Left: the politics of redistribution and recognition in social work

S.A. Webb

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, 2010, p. 2364-2379

This article outlines a theory of practice in social work that is derived from recent debates in sociological theory about the core categories of redistribution and recognition. A Critical social work oriented towards the promotion of social justice will be based on an ethics of recognition, concerned with ending cultural injustice and suffering, and an ethics of redistribution, focused on redressing economic injustice. Adoption of such a practice framework will involve struggle, as it will subvert the existing dominant rules within the apparatus of the state and the associated neoliberal economy. This article also demonstrated how certain postmodern tendencies in social work militate against a meaningful engagement with the redistribution/recognition dynamic.

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