Chapter

Introduction

Michael Lavalette

in Radical social work today

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428189
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303138 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428189.003.0001
Introduction

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This book has been put together to mark the 35th anniversary of the publication of Roy Bailey and Mike Brake's (1975) Radical social work, one of the few great, seminal texts of social work in Britain. One of the elements that framed the background to both the book and the radical social-work movement was the surge in social-movement activity in the period. The year 1968 saw a wave of social protest that lasted until the mid-1970s. If the 1980s were, generally, a period of retreat and defeat for progressive social movements, the 1987 election marked a watershed year for welfare. The attempt to introduce a ‘neoliberal’ form of social work has, in the long run, opened up such disillusionment and discontent within the profession that it has created a space for the rebirth of radicalism in social work. The Social Work Action Network (SWAN) in Britain is an organisation that is attempting to rethink the radical social-work project for the twenty-first century; this book is a small contribution to that project.

Keywords: Roy Bailey; Mike Brake; social work; Britain; social movements; radical social work; welfare; radicalism; Social Work Action

Chapter.  4427 words. 

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