Journal Article

The Post- and the Anti-: Analysing Change and Changing Analyses in Social Work


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 28, issue 5, pages 709-727
Published in print October 1998 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 1998 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
The Post- and the Anti-: Analysing Change and Changing Analyses in Social Work

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This article considers some of the issues raised by critics of postmodern analyses of social work. It analyses the ways in which social services departments have changed to a ‘post-fordist’ organizational form and considers the implications for equality policies and anti-oppressive practice. It challenges the view that preserving a more professional approach to social work offers greater opportunities for anti-oppressive practice than the more deprofessionalized approach currently being developed and argues that social workers committed to the principles of anti-oppressive practice can develop new tactics appropriate to the changing organizational context It also argues that postmodernist analyses offer new insights into experiences of power, oppression and inequality. In particular, it stresses the importance of understanding the linkages between broader, political and economic trends and the experiences of individual social workers and service users.

Drawing on research in Avon Social Services, it considers the ways in which race equality strategies in community care continue to reduce issues of race and racism to culture and identity. Reflecting critically on anti-oppressive and anti-racist action it argues that the limitations placed on anti-oppressive practice under the postfordist context of community care are unlikely to differ greatly from those felt under previous organizational regimes.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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