‘Resistant to change?’: using critical reflection to analyse positionality within a neoliberal academic environment

Robinson, Kim and Macfarlane, S 2021, ‘Resistant to change?’: using critical reflection to analyse positionality within a neoliberal academic environment, Critical and Radical Social Work, pp. 1-14, doi: 10.1332/204986021x16109919601023.

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Title ‘Resistant to change?’: using critical reflection to analyse positionality within a neoliberal academic environment
Author(s) Robinson, KimORCID iD for Robinson, Kim orcid.org/0000-0002-0366-3868
Macfarlane, S
Journal name Critical and Radical Social Work
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher Policy Press
Place of publication Bristol, Eng.
Publication date 2021
ISSN 2049-8608
Keyword(s) neoliberalism
social work education
critical reflection
critical social work
Summary A growing body of literature has outlined the deleterious impacts of neoliberalism on higher education in the Western world. These critiques are far-ranging and include effects on students, curriculum, educators and the purpose of higher education itself. Some of this literature has focused specifically on social work education, highlighting ways in which neoliberal agendas run counter to the profession’s focus on social justice and a critical approach to education. In this article, as social work academics based in Australia, we use a structured process of critical reflection to deconstruct and reconstruct a challenging incident that embodies and reflects key tenets of neoliberal discourse. The authors draw on a combination of theories that inform critical social work, such as feminism, critical theory and postmodern thinking. We argue that critical reflection can enable us to name and unpack the discourses and power dynamics at play within academic and other settings in order to more clearly and consciously resist managerial processes and to generate alternative discourses based on social work values. The endeavour is aimed not at prescribing practices of resistance, but rather at considering possibilities for creative responses in subtle spaces.
Notes In Press article
Language eng
DOI 10.1332/204986021x16109919601023
Field of Research 1605 Policy and Administration
1607 Social Work
1699 Other Studies in Human Society
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30153582

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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