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Resisting neoliberalism in social work education: learning, teaching and performing human rights and social justice in England and Spain

Martinez Herrero, Maria and Charnley, Helen (2020) 'Resisting neoliberalism in social work education: learning, teaching and performing human rights and social justice in England and Spain.' Social Work Education. ISSN 0261-5479

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Abstract

In an increasingly complex, globalized world, many of the problems confronting social workers are rooted in structural inequalities created or deepened by uncontrolled neoliberal market mechanisms. Yet neoliberal political agendas dominating the global order encourage individualistic models of social work intervention, characterized by managerialism and deprofessionalisation. Critiquing the impact of neoliberalism, those aligned with critical and radical social work traditions have highlighted the use of narrow technicist interventions to disguise the root social causes of people´s suffering and contradicting values of human rights (HR) and social justice (SJ) that lie at the heart of social work as a profession. For social work students to locate themselves confidently within HR and SJ frameworks, they must experience HR and SJ as central to their education. This article draws on doctoral research exploring how HR and SJ are operationalized in social work education in England and Spain. A web survey of social work educators and students was complemented by interviews with educators in both countries. Findings revealed key opportunities for learning, teaching and performing HR and SJ in social work education. We discuss each in turn, reflecting briefly on the implications for enhancing the profile of HR and SJ in social work education.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special issue on Radical Challenges for Social Work Education
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2020 15:08
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2021 01:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26820

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