Chapter

T<b>he subject of stress</b>

Kenneth McLaughlin

in Social work, politics and society

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420459
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303572 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847420459.003.0006
The subject of stress

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This chapter focuses on the subject of stress and views it as a discursive construct rooted in changing sociopolitical conditions. It examines the influence of this discourse on social work, not only at the level of direct social work input but at an academic and institutional level whereby interpretations of, and reactions to, a wide variety of personal, social and work-related situations are formed and mediated. It links the rise of pathological diagnoses, categorisations of abuse and the concept of the ‘at risk’ individual to ‘stress’. It also discusses stress in the social services and looks at major causes of stress including bullying, harassment and violence. It argues that a construction of the subject as vulnerable, as more object than subject is evident, and that interpersonal and work relationships are increasingly portrayed as being detrimental to our health and safety.

Keywords: social work; stress; abuse; pathological diagnoses; social services; bullying; violence; harassment

Chapter.  7954 words. 

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