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Social work and advanced marginality

Cummins, ID

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This chapter explores the impact of broader social and economic policies on social work practice. It argues that the increasing inequality and polarisation of modern urban societies that is outlined in the other chapters of this book has had a direct impact on the role of social workers. The chapter begins with a brief outline of the reaction of British Governments to the banking and Eurozone crises of 2008. It then goes on to argue that the introduction of “austerity” the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government in 2010 involved not only significant reductions in welfare spending but was a political project aimed at recasting and reducing the welfare state. The chapter then examines social work practice in the context of advanced marginality. It argues that the changes and processes examined in the other contributions have resulted in an environment where social work has an increasingly disciplinary role. The impact of neoliberal welfare retrenchment compounded by austerity is that social work practice is increasingly experienced by service users as negative or punitive interventions in their lives. This is, despite the profession clear ethical stance being one that is committed to empowerment


Cummins, I. (2019). Social work and advanced marginality. In Class, Ethnicity and State in the Polarized Metropolis: Putting Wacquant to Work (231-254). Palgrave Macmillan.

Online Publication Date Aug 15, 2019
Publication Date Aug 29, 2019
Deposit Date Aug 21, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 29, 2021
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Pages 231-254
Book Title Class, Ethnicity and State in the Polarized Metropolis: Putting Wacquant to Work
ISBN 9783030162221-(ebk.);-9783030162214-(hbk.)
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