Cloth $80.00 ISBN: 9781847429612 Published February 2013 For sale in North and South America only
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9781847429605 Published February 2013 For sale in North and South America only

Social Work and Social Theory

Making Connections

Paul Michael Garrett

Social Work and Social Theory
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Paul Michael Garrett

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

256 pages | 12 figures, 2 tables | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 | © 2013
Cloth $80.00 ISBN: 9781847429612 Published February 2013 For sale in North and South America only
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9781847429605 Published February 2013 For sale in North and South America only
In order to work effectively, social workers need to understand theoretical concepts and develop critical theory. In Social Work and Social Theory, Paul Michael Garrett seeks to bring the profession into dialogue with the anticapitalist movement and encourages a new engagement with theorists such as Antonio Gramsci, Pierre Bourdieu, and Nancy Fraser. It provides an accessible and exhilarating introduction for practitioners, students, and social work academics interested in social theory and critical social policy. It will be a vital resource aiding anyone intent on creating a more radical social work and a useful teaching tool to spark lively classroom discussion.
Michael Reisch | University of Maryland
“This book fills a gap in the increasingly atheoretical literature of social work. It provides clear and incisive analyses of major critical theorists and demonstrates how their work can shape progressive practice.”   
Mimi Abramovitz | Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center
“As neoliberalism brings ‘managerialism’ into social services, Garrett’s highly accessible and provocative conversation with theorists importantly opens the door to critical thinking about the role of government, the functioning of social agencies, and the capacity of social workers to deliver services to people in need. Garrett’s thoughtful and in-depth engagement with major social theories should encourage social workers—who sit at the intersection between the individual and the state, to assess—and to challenge—the status quo.”
Sanford Schram | Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
“Paul Michael Garrett’s Social Work and Social Theory is a wonderfully rich reflection on the uses of social theory to critically contextualize social work practice. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary theorists, the book insightfully shows that theory can help social workers rethink the commonly accepted understandings of their roles and responsibilities today.” 
Neil Thompson | Avenue Consulting
“This is a well-written book by a respected author. It demonstrates a wealth of relevant knowledge and provides a clear overview of a highly complex field.” 
Steve Rogowski | Community Care
“Garrett has provided trenchant critiques of the changes forced onto social work since the onset of neoliberalism—a political philosophy that promotes, among other things, privatisation and free trade—in the late 1970s. His call has always been for a more critical and creative response to what has happened to social work and the people it serves. . . . This book is essential reading for those wanting a more radical/critical social work.”
Darren Broomfield | Irish New Left Review
“Garrett has set himself an ambitious task in writing a book which draws on a broad range of social theorists in examining what relevance they have to social work as an academic subject, a professional practice, and as a response to problems that will inevitably emerge under the present social order. The strengths in this text lie in Garrett’s own evident passion for the topic and his acute observations of the theories discussed. . . . I believe this book is an excellent contribution to social work literature in Ireland and further afield and may be what social work needs, if not necessarily what it wants.” 
British Journal of Social Work
“The book . . . richly and compellingly reminds readers that social and critical theory allow us to understand and unpick the complexity, politics, and power of social inequality. . . . Modern, invigorating, relevant, and successful in generating a positive will towards politically informed and activist social work. It is highly recommended.”
Malcolm Carey, University of Manchester (UK) | Critical Social Policy
Social Work and Social Theory is . . . a brave and inspired attempt to argue for a better engagement with the potential of critical theory to improve our understanding of the social work labour process [and] the corrosive impact of neoliberalism on all spheres of life. . . . It is a fascinating and well-written read. . . . The author’s ornate style of writing, enthusiasm, and keen endeavour to keep the material up to date holds the reader’s attention.”
Cath Holmström, University of Sussex (UK) | Social Work Education
“The book is extremely well structured [,] . . . written in a way that is readily accessible and intelligible and is presented clearly enough for the reader to . . . develop their own critique despite the fact that many of the selected theorists are known sometimes for their use of impenetrable prose. . . . Refreshingly, not all selected theorists are those likely to be familiar to all readers and this combination of ‘predictable’ or familiar aspects with newer perspectives is a real strength of this book. . . . Undeniably, a ‘good read’ and should certainly stimulate thoughts and debates.”
Roger Smith, Durham University (UK) | Journal of Power
“Garrett has highlighted for us once again the looking beyond the standardized parameters of institutional practice, and . . . seeking inspiration and indeed practical insights from a wider range of sources than are commonly utilized. . . . As in his previous work, the author has achieved a precious objective in successfully making us think, and think critically for practice.”
1. Introduction
Part One: Debating modernity
2. ‘How to be modern’: theorising modernity
3. ‘Solid’ modernity and ‘liquid’ modernity
4. Modernity and capitalism
5. Modernity and the unfinished neoliberal project
Part Two: Theorists
6. Thinking with Gramsci
7. Thinking with Bourdieu
8. Thinking with Habermas
9. Thinking with Honneth and Fraser
10. New directions? Boltanski and Chiapello, Negri and Badiou
11. Conclusion

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