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NEW: SW&S Special Issue on “Teaching Poverty in Social Work Classroom – Perspectives from Global South and Policy Implications” (Vol. 18, Issue 2, 2020)
Poverty has always been one of the main indicators for social work and social policy. This is one of the reasons for the even partial dingy image of social professions. Nevertheless, the attempt to transform social work into a white-collar job is historically also well observable: The dynamic of turning child and youth welfare primarily into a field of child protection is historically only one of the last examples for this development, e.g. in Europe or Australia. It can illustrate, how social work is at the one side politically addressed to move away from an empowering and critical or even radical self-conception – even everyday social work has never been such a political actor in real. But the neoliberal agenda puts any public infrastructure close to inefficiency and sees it as an obstacle to economic development and social evolution. On the other side, social work itself often tried to overcome its dingy image and its status as a semi- or quasi-profession by turning away from social conditions and focussing on individual behaviour and clinical as well as evidenced based programs.
Against such a neoliberal agenda and the corresponding tendencies of privatisation, commodification and marketisation of the existing public infrastructure and services, poverty and social conditions in general have been put on stage again from critical social work theory, social policy research and especially from political and social movements in the last years. Also, the international relations of poverty or gender inequality have been discussed more and more in the fields of social work and social policy in the 21st century.
On that background the Co-Ordination Office of Social Work & Society is particularly pleased to present the new SW&S.Special Issue on “Teaching Poverty in Social Work Classroom – Perspectives from Global South and Policy Implications”, edited by an outstanding international editorial group from China, India, Israel and South Africa: Gao Jianguo (Shandong), Rajendra Baikady (Jerusalem & Johannesburg), Sajid S.M (New Delhi), Cheng Shengli (Shandong) and Wang Yuxiang (Shandong) are editing the current SW&S.Special Issue.
This consists of eleven articles, reflecting the question of teaching poverty in social work education especially for the Asian, but also the European context, by looking at the different aspects of the broad and complex topic of teaching poverty to (further) social work professionals.
Beside our SW&S.Special Issue we present our readers in the current SW&S.Forum a contribution on “Claiming” equality and “doing” inequality – Individual action plans for applicants of social assistance by Rickard Ulmestig, Verner Denvall, and Kettil Nordesjö.
The new SW&S.Special Issue not only points out the necessary broadening of perspectives that the Global North has to undertake, but can also represent the need for global perspectives in general, which we are particularly aware of in the face of the current pandemic. With this in mind, we wish our readers a very stimulating reading of the current SW&S.Issue.
The SW&S Co-Ordinating Office