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By Catherine McDonald

This booklet explores the demanding situations dealing with social paintings, prepares readers for the realities of perform, and engages the reader in a finished, theoretically proficient but obtainable research of why social paintings must reconstitute itself.

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Extra resources for Challenging Social Work: The Institutional Context of Practice

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Social work and the rationalities of welfare In the concluding section of this Chapter the phrase ‘welfare reform’ as used as a convenient short-hand term for the reconstruction of the modernist welfare state. Welfare reform provides the pre-eminent example of an alternative (and increasingly dominant) rationality or set of ideas about welfare (or workfare). Previously in this chapter, I illustrated how the ideas of modernity, particularly those of progress, underpinned the institutional complex of the modern welfare state.

In this chapter, the notion of modernity as particular sets of ways of thinking about the world has been canvassed. Chapter 5 illustrates how the model of rationality informing the social work project (represented our reliance on the social sciences) is also destabilized, not only by the logic of welfare reform, but also by alternative groups of ideas falling within the intellectual movement known as postmodernism. Prior to that however, I examine the economic and political developments prompting the wholesale shift away from the dominant 20th century mode 42 CHALLENGING SOCIAL WORK of managing industrial capitalism, and the linkages between that and the institutional reconfiguration of the welfare state.

One highly influential variant of this latter process is the idea of welfare as a ‘moral hazard’, in which the welfare state is held to promote at best, free riding (wherein some people consume welfare which they do not pay for or appropriately contribute to) and at worst, outright cheating (Lindbeck, 1995). The other major position destabilizing the welfare state across the world is the widespread notion that welfare creates dangerous dependency and disincentives to actively engage in the labor market (Mead, 1986; Murray, 1994).

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