What can Arendt's theorising add to critical social workers empowerment practice?

Bay, Uschi 2007, What can Arendt's theorising add to critical social workers empowerment practice?, in TASA & SAANZ Joint Conference 2007 : public sociologies : lessons and Trans-Tasman comparisons, Dept. of Sociology, University of Auckland, [Auckland, N.Z.].

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Title What can Arendt's theorising add to critical social workers empowerment practice?
Author(s) Bay, Uschi
Conference name Australian Sociological Association. Conference (2007 : University of Auckland)
Conference location Auckland, N.Z.
Conference dates 4-7 December 2007
Title of proceedings TASA & SAANZ Joint Conference 2007 : public sociologies : lessons and Trans-Tasman comparisons
Editor(s) Curtis, B
Matthewman, S
McIntosh, T.
Publication date 2007
Conference series Australian Sociological Association Conference
Publisher Dept. of Sociology, University of Auckland
Place of publication [Auckland, N.Z.]
Summary Empowerment is one of the most frequently invoked concepts in critical social work theory and practice. Critical social work theory tends to privilege the concept of “power” as the central concept in em-power-ment. However over the last two decades postmodern and poststructural thought has discredited how power was understood in critical social work. Some leading critical social workers have re-thought the notion of “power” with Foucault’s early and middle work. One of the key problems raised by leading social workers is about how to re-think “allowance for difference” in empowerment practice (Fook 2002; Healy 2000). I argue that to re-think power in relation specifically to problems with “allowance for difference” using Foucault’s early and middle work is not possible because he is still conflating power with domination. Hence I turn to Hannah Arendt’s theorising on power. For Arendt power is understood as the capacity of people to “act in concert” and to create something new. Arendt’s concepts of “plurality”, “natality” and “publicness”, I argue can add a much to critical social work empowerment practice by re-thinking the notion of “allowance for difference” in critical empowerment social work.
ISBN 9782868691145
Language eng
Field of Research 160701 Clinical Social Work Practice
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020224

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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