Journal Article

Making ‘Anti-Social Behaviour’: A Fragment on the Evolution of ‘ASBO Politics’ in Britain

Paul Michael Garrett

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 37, issue 5, pages 839-856
Published in print July 2007 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online May 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Making ‘Anti-Social Behaviour’: A Fragment on the Evolution of ‘ASBO Politics’ in Britain

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The British Association of Social Workers has actively opposed Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs). It is the contention of this article that there is a pressing need to interrogate factors which are influencing and driving the ASBO agenda during the period of New Labour in Britain. The discussion begins by referring to the significance of keywords and phrases in social work and social policy. This is followed by an examination of the recent (re)appearance of concern about ‘anti-social behaviour’. A critical overview of the White Paper Respect and Responsibility: Taking a Stand against Anti-Social Behaviour (Home Office, 2003a) is then provided. It is then argued that Tony Blair and former home secretary, David Blunkett, played distinctive roles in creating Britain’s ASBO politics. This, moreover, is a politics which potentially narrows social work’s role and purpose.

Keywords: respect; ‘problem families’; convergences; terrorism

Journal Article.  8126 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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