Social Work & Society 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Marie Fruehauf Open Journal Systems The e-journal Social Work and Society is dedicated to critical analysis of the relationship between social work, social policy, the state and economic forces. Voices of Subaltern. Introduction to the special issue 2023-04-23T10:30:59+00:00 Michael May Kirsten Elisa Petersen <p>The Social Exclusion and Pedagogy in the Welfare State (SEP) research program, Aarhus University, Denmark has focused on this theme based on giving voice to the subalterns, which in the modern welfare state include i.e. the vulnerable, the excluded, stigmatized and socially marginalized groups in society.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Understanding subaltern classes and their struggle – past and present 2023-04-23T11:05:43+00:00 Nils Rosendal Jensen <p class="swsAbstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The article is convinced that Gramsci’s relevance lies in his occupation with a great number of modern sociological problems: curriculum, discontinuity between the culture of the school and that of daily life, changes of society and ideology.</span></p> <p class="swsAbstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The structure of the article is. First, I introduce to Gramsci and his strong relationship with the communist movement; then I continue to refer to some of the foundational concepts of Gramsci’s thinking (hegemony, common sense, intellectuals). The concept hegemony origins in the Russian Social Democrats pointing to the role of the Russian proletariat in a bourgeois revolution against Tsarism. Gramsci develops the concept further and attempts to apply it in stable capitalist countries like Italy. In the second section, the article discusses how education can provide knowledge, insight, and mental tools to overcome inequalities.</span></p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Subalternity, Class-Consciousness and Resistance 2023-04-23T11:25:02+00:00 Dirk Michel-Schertges <p>The history of mankind is a history of survival, subjugation of external and internal nature as well as exploitation and mastery of humans. The exploitation of human labour by means of physical violence is a phenomenon that has been going on since prehistoric times, through the epochs of the Egyptians, Hellenes, Romans, European feudalism and colonialism up to modern times and the modern era of globalism. Starting from hierarchically ordered violent relationships in (small) groups, processes of planned and instrumentalized subjugation are aiming to master others and thus to “improve” the living conditions of the one’s in power. This involves the violent expropriation and appropriation of social space and natural resources especially that of living labour. The focus of this text is on relations of oppression and consciousness that are reflected in the discussions of the "subaltern." That is, the constitution of (postcolonial) power relations and their relevance in order to understand contemporary social relations of domination and mastery in the light of subaltern consciousness.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Speaking for the ‘other’? Representation, positionality and subjectivity in ethnographic fieldwork in Danish and Kenyan education institutions 2023-04-24T10:41:20+00:00 Kari Kragh Blume Dahl <p class="swsAbstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This article explores how issues of representation, subjectivity and positionality during ethnographic fieldwork may inform the question of representing ‘the other’. The aim is to start a critical discussion about how representation can be thought of and achieved under which circumstances, rather than recommending certain ways of doing fieldwork instead of others. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Danish and Kenyan education institutions, the article suggests exploring the dilemma of speaking on behalf of ‘the other’ rather than letting ‘the other’ speak for themselves as an issue of power, subjectivity and positionality. Rejecting the idea of neutrality and objectivity, and replacing it with subtle realism, makes it possible to acknowledge that partisanship will always be present in representations. Yet ingraining constant reflexivity and the comparison of multiple voices and subjectivities in fieldwork processes make it possible to understand representations of the other as partially situated and constructed.</span></p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society The Point of View of Stigmatised Young Girls: Managing Class, “Race” and Place in Polarising Copenhagen 2023-04-24T10:48:53+00:00 Edita Ademi Maia Hauch Christian Sandbjerg Hansen <p>Just over twenty years ago, Pierre Bourdieu (et al. 1999) used life histories to carve out the petit misère of contemporary society, bringing into “public space the private discourses of those deprived of public discourse” (Bourdieu 2008: 226). In this article, we explore and expose the everyday difficulties and social conditions of suffering among racialised girls from a deprived neighbourhood in Copenhagen. We also draw on the notion of territorial stigmatisation coined by Loïc Wacquant in order to analyse the social injuries and practical management of this particular form of consequential categorisation. Using material taken from an ethnographic study among a group of girls living in Tingbjerg, which is a neighbourhood in Copenhagen with a poor reputation, we focus on how these girls aim to deflect and negotiate class, ethnicity, gender and territory in everyday life.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society The muffled voices of the insane child – tracing the small voices of early child and adolescent psychiatry 2023-04-24T10:57:37+00:00 Trine Elisabeth Møbius Sørensen <p>This article discusses historical, archival and theoretical material constructed about the children, who were labeld insane in Denmark, across the period of 1900-1930. The article draws the reader’s attention to this period to examine the experience of the confined children and the “struggles … out of which contemporary practices emerged and to show the historical conditions of existence upon which present-day practices depend” (Garland, 2014 p. 373). Through ‘historical ethnography’, the article traces the voices and the experiences of the child labeled ‘insane’ and argues that the ‘clinical subject’ during this time could not speak, except through a patchwork of clinical theories and techniques (Swarz, 2005). The analysis follows the small voices of history and argues that children’s statements were muffled by discourses of psychiatry and hospital management (Spivak, 1993). By drawing on theoretical perspectives on subjugation represented by postcolonial historiography (Spivak, 1993), the paper will trace their silenced voices (Hak, 1992) by questioning who was speaking to whom, to what purpose and through which system of representation.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Can people diagnosed as chronically mentally ill speak? 2023-04-24T11:04:49+00:00 Michael May <p>In this article, interaction forms of people who have experienced crises and users of mental health services are examined against the background of Gramsci's and Spivak´s concept of subalternity. To this end, first Foucault´s History of Madness is analysed in terms of hegemony theory. His concept of alienation is compared with that of Laing and related to Honneth´s theory of reification in order to explain, against this background and Lorenzer´s theory of interaction forms, how Foucault´s concept of disalienation is incorporated in modified form in the practice research network VISION-RA. Findings from this network on reifying interaction forms in the field of (community) psychiatry as well as on attempts of users of mental health services to resist these are presented. Following Spivak, the latter are interpreted as subaltern rebellion.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Suppressed voices and lost opportunities in education and the psychiatric healthcare system – a structural analysis of dilemmas in inter-professional collaboration between sectors 2023-04-24T11:14:09+00:00 Anne Morin <p>This article will discuss the dilemmas, limitations and lost opportunities arising in collaborative inter-professional everyday practice across education and psychiatric healthcare systems in a national Danish context. The analysis in the article builds on empirical findings derived from a development project initiated by several regional child psychiatry centres in various Danish municipalities which aimed to develop inter-professional collaboration on early intervention for children and young people who experience mental health problems. The article will provide a structural analysis emphasising the relationship between structural conditions and subjective possibilities and limitations (Dreier 2009) of inter-professional collaboration. Focusing on organisational challenges in inter-professional everyday professional practice, the article will discuss difficulties in providing timely help and resources for children and families who are in contact with the psychiatric system. The article takes its point of departure in empirical findings derived from a development project on collaborative inter-professional practice between school professionals, educational psychologists and child psychiatrists related to early inter-professional and cross-sectoral interventions. Drawing on concepts from social practice theory and critical psychology of situated inequality (Højholt 2017), the positions and possibilities of professionals in collaboration as well as of children and families will be discussed. The empirical analysis shows that situated inequality as part of structural dilemmas may result in suppressed voices and lost opportunities in early inter-professional and cross-sectoral interventions.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Recalibrating disability towards the term subaltern. The social work of neoliberal-academic-ableism in Danish higher education 2023-04-24T11:20:05+00:00 Tine Fristrup Christopher Karanja Odgaard <p>This paper explores ways in which disabled academics emerge through the social work of what we call neoliberal-academic-ableism in Danish higher education when disability is recalibrated towards the term subaltern. Following Spivak’s gendered and racialised subaltern, we are pushed to probe for new interconnected intersections of different formations concerning voicing, speaking, and listening in Danish higher education in general and in the social work support system in particular. Inaugurating our inquiry into academic dis/ability through Spivak’s lens of the subaltern, we seek to broaden the scope of Spivak’s critical analytical perspective by acknowledging the highly productive ways in which interdisciplinarity and different forms of minority discourses can be mobilised in creative and complex conversations with critical disability studies, studies in ableism, and studies in academic ableism. Our aim is to inform contemporary and future formations of knowledge production about social work and disability in higher education through the framework of neodisability.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Voicing the silenced – One Million Voices and the Danish disability experience 2023-04-24T11:28:00+00:00 Bjørg Kjær <p class="swsAbstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Denmark has an international reputation as a groundbreaking welfare state, with various educational and social measures targeting citizens with disabilities. Based on an outline of the emergence of this narrative, I provide examples demonstrating how, following decades of cutbacks and neoliberal policies, the current situation is quite precarious.</span></p> <p class="swsAbstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The grassroots movement One Million Voices (En million stemmer) is presented as a contemporary example of the Danish fight for disability rights and welfare based on which I discuss efforts to give voice to citizens with disabilities and their families. I analyse the national narrative of Denmark as representing a gold standard for disability rights and welfare, arguing that this discourse plays an important role in contemporary struggles to ensure and improve disability rights. Inspired by Spivak (1985), I outline the historical emergence of the disabled as othered and voiceless subaltern, and examine the current situation in Denmark to understand how the historical discourse continues to have an impact through contemporary manifestations.</span></p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Net worth of adults approaching retirement age: Personal health, presence of a chronically ill or disabled household member, and out of home caregiving 2023-04-24T11:30:45+00:00 Patricia Patty Stoddard Dare Linda M. Quinn Shirley L. Porterfield LeaAnne DeRigne Miyuki Tedor Cyleste Collins <p>Using a nationally representative sample of N=3,614 U.S. adults (mean age 55.3 in 2016) from the 2008, 2012, and 2016 rounds of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79), we examine longitudinally the impact of personal health status, caregiving, and presence of a chronically ill or disabled (CIOD) household member on total family net worth (TFNW) while stratifying by marital status. Statistically significant repeated measures analysis finds having a limiting health condition was related to a reduction in TFNW for unmarried ($33.7K) and married respondents ($82.8K), as was having a person with a CIOD in the household ($49.0K decrease for unmarried, $79.7K decrease for married respondents). Conversely, being an out-of-home caregiver was related to an increased mean TFNW for both unmarried ($59.2K) and married ($75.4K) respondents. Our findings suggest an adult is at a greater disadvantage with respect to financial preparedness for retirement if they have both a work-limiting health condition and have a CIOD in their household than if they have only one of these characteristics or have neither characteristic. A unique finding of this study is that families with members who are chronically ill or have disabilities have lower and similar total net worth, whether or not the NLSY79 respondent identifies as a caregiver for that person. Implications for promoting equity based on these findings are discussed.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society If I had a magic wand: Speculative everyday anti-racism for addressing workplace racial discrimination in British Columbia’s public sector 2023-04-24T11:44:42+00:00 Farid Asey <p>Using empirically-derived knowledge from twenty-five interviews with racialized public servants in British Columbia, Canada, this article presents a qualitative exploration of participant-proposed solutions to racial discrimination at work. Participants were selected on the basis of reporting lived experiences with workplace racial discrimination and their insights were collected through in-depth qualitative interviews in response to a speculative question on how they would stomp out the specter of racisms in their workplaces if they had all the power and resources to do so. This study introduces speculative everyday anti-racism as a framework that outlines additional possibilities for resistance, contestation and liberation at work. Speculative everyday anti-racism aims to also offer the discursive and political power to participants and disrupts the practice of <em>experts</em> and academic knowledge-producers providing prescriptions for workplace anti-racist work. The guiding principle behind the design of this study is that if workplaces are to respond effectively to racial discrimination in their midst, racialized workers ought to play a key role in identifying issues and proposing solutions. Thus, it is proposed that a reconceptualization of antidiscrimination grounded on speculative everyday anti-racism could better assist policy makers and practitioners in responding to racial discrimination in the workplace.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Education inequality among the Muslims in India: Historical-Present Scenario 2023-04-24T12:23:47+00:00 Vikram Singh <p>This paper explores the educational inequality of the Muslim community in India. It examines the socio-economic and political factors responsible for the marginalisation of the community. It covers the perceptions of education within Islam and the history of the teaching of the Muslim community in India. It tries to comprehend the challenges within the community to access education. Furthermore, it looks at the education of the Muslim community in India. Afterwards, it also explores the factors that determine the educational status of the community. Moreover, it interrogates how in the absence of government intervention, it redresses the community's backwardness; therefore, the role played by civil society organizations is very important to analyse. Hence the paper inspects the role of NGOs as social capital in the educational development of the community.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society Understanding Portuguese social workers’ values preferences 2023-04-24T12:31:51+00:00 Helena Teles Maria Irene Carvalho <p>In this article, we seek to find out what values social workers in Portugal identify as critical for the profession, and we further attempt to contextualise them with the values of the Portuguese population. We adopted a quantitative and extensive methodology; used the Schwartz scale to collect data from social workers, while the values of the Portuguese population were gathered from the European Social Survey. The results indicate that social workers prefer values centered on universalism and benevolence, and yet they exercise their profession in a society that prefers values oriented towards the maintenance of tradition. It is essential that social workers have the practical wisdom to make ethical decisions based on the values of the profession, whether universal or specific, taking into account the context in which they practice. Subsequently, it is significant for professionals to understand these general societal values to enable them to define meaningful strategies to reinforce the values of social work in their professional practice.</p> 2023-04-25T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social Work & Society