Postmodernism Impact On Contemporary Social Work Social Work Essay

Pulling on the stuff from the faculty, critically discuss the extent to which theories associating to Postmodernism inform our apprehension of an facet or facets of modern-day societal work?

Postmodernism represents a reaction to the theoretical idealism of modernism ( Parton, 2000 ) . It rejects the impression of aim cognition which can be understood by an nonsubjective perceiver and suggests that there are as many worlds as there are perceivers ( Dominelli, 2010 ) . Knowledge is rejected as something which is inherently good, and the potency for scientific discipline to work out the universe ‘s jobs piece by piece is undermined. This creates a cardinal challenge to the construct of societal work ( Hugman, 2003 ) . Social work is borne out of a modernist mentality, emerging as it did from an idealistic belief that the province could get the better of societal jobs through the usage of a scientific model ( Payne and Askeland, 2008 ) . Social work has a committedness to the scientific method in determining cosmopolitan solutions to structural jobs that create inequality in society and postmodernism therefore undermines this traditional authorization ( Howe, 1994 ) .

In look intoing these issues, the undermentioned construction shall be adopted. First, the challenge presented by postmodernism to societal work shall be investigated more closely in trying to specify postmodernism with mention to different positions. Second, the influence of Postmodernism in impacting our apprehension of facets of modern-day societal work pattern shall be investigated through a treatment of client-focused service proviso, societal work research, evidence-based pattern and brooding pattern. Postmodernism is non an ideological position that exists outside the society in which it manifests itself ; it instead represents the efforts to depict and associate procedures that already exist within a society through knowing and thought ( Pease and Fook, 1999 ) . As such, given its close links to societal tendencies, it would be about impossible for societal work to avoid exposing the influence of the postmodernism paradigm ( Pease and Fook, 1999 ) .

The feminist position tilts towards a binary analysis of authorising persons or groups where as a critical attack see postmodernism as a relativist inclination contradictory to the cosmopolitan truths ( Pease and Fook 1999 ) . Habermas critical theory defended modernness as an unfinished work with unrealized manumitter potency. Lyotard ( 1991 ) cited by Baronial 2004 views the Enlightenment period to hold failed with an progressively pluralistic universe with many sites of authorization, but with no order. A universe characterized by uncertainness and asinine consumerism. ( Bauman 1992 ) understands that under the meta narrations of modernism prevarication devastation, disaffection and desperation. Attempts to make societal Torahs through scientific discipline are fishy and therefore moralss should be based on a duty to the ‘other ‘ . ( Bauman,1992 ) accepts that the rules of modernness still be and can be made in the mundane determinations. Rather than retreating from the ‘postmodern bend ‘ critics are trying to pull in the best of both universes within modern-day societal work.

Postmodernism is hard to specify perfectly owing to its different significance across research paradigms and discourses ( Leonard, 1997 ) . In the first topographic point, the impression that history has a form has been rejected ( Giddens, 2004 ) . This has traditionally been stated as mentioning to the impression that history has an grim way towards a state of affairs of lower inequality, where chances are available for all persons ( Parton and O’Byrne, 2000 ) . The overall construct of such a historical development would therefore look to render societal work without a authorization given its traditional accent on societal and single betterment ( Pease and Fook, 1999 ) . There is no way of development for the pattern, and therefore there is limited significance to the intent of societal work: inequalities will ever be and therefore societal work can non obtain any true relief of this state of affairs in any society ( Weick and Saleeby, 1998, ) . The feminist position tilts towards a binary analysis of authorising persons or groups where as a critical attack see postmodernism as a relativist inclination contradictory to the universalist truths. ( Pease and Fook 1999 ) . Habermas critical theory defended modernness as an unfinished work with unrealized manumitter potency. Lyotard ( 1991 ) cited by Baronial 2004 views the Enlightenment period to hold failed with an progressively pluralistic universe with many sites of authorization, but with no order. A universe characterized by uncertainness and asinine consumerism. ( Bauman 1992 ) understands that under the meta narrations of modernism prevarication devastation, disaffection and desperation. Attempts to make societal Torahs through scientific discipline are fishy and therefore moralss should be based on a duty to the ‘other ‘

Postmodernism inquiries the being of a construct of inequality, which traditionally forms from the impression of there being structural similarities between societies ‘A postmodern point of position culls objectivism and absolutionism and stresses pluralism, relativism and flexibleness, ‘ ( Murphy and Pardeck, 1998, ) . Inequalities hence represent an nonsubjective point of view that suggests there is something inherently better about the model of reading that would stress those with greater resources than those who are less good away. The new epoch of neo-liberalism now deals in ‘managing ‘ instead than trying to ‘cure ‘ society ailments. ( Parton 1994 ) ( Weick and Saleeby, 1998 ) . The impressions that engagement in society by all persons and the being of societal values that result in disaffection of those who do non take portion in society is a position that is supported by the modernist position on which societal work is founded ( Dominelli, 1996 ) . From this position, postmodernism undermines the basicss of societal work: without some thoughts of right and incorrect, there can be no impression of the purpose societal work is to play ( Hugman, 2003, ) . Without being able to do nonsubjective point of views to assist service users, there can be no way for societal work as its very doctrine is modernist.

The consolation that exists for societal work within the theoretical model of postmodernism is, nevertheless, significant, and the influence of Postmodernism on the societal work paradigm has been of import in impacting the way of research and pattern ( Payne and Askeland, 2008, ) . This is clearly apparent in the impression of client-centred services ( Bogo, 2006 ) . Given that postmodernism provinces that there might non be any individual nonsubjective point of view that can be considered universally valid, the chance of intercession in pattern has be mediated ( Greene, 2008 ) . Rather than societal workers sing that they are cognizant of the universal and nonsubjective truth that exists for all persons to obey, the being and acknowledgment of the impression of pluralism in point of views has resulted in the prevalence of a client-centred attack to serve proviso ( Greene, 2008 ) . This can be argued to non hold straight resulted from the Postmodernist impact upon societal work theory and positions, but this demonstrates the impression that does non stand for a position in the traditional enlightenment position but instead a procedure ( Howe, 1994 ) . In other words, societal work has demonstrated the impact of the Postmodernist position over a long period of clip because societal work is influenced by societal alteration and as such the Postmodernist position seeks to depict a alteration that is under manner instead than an external political orientation that informs societal work. Social work can be seen as informing Postmodernism in the same manner the Postmodernism can be argued to inform societal work: they are both portion of the same procedure ( Howe, 1994 ) .

The development of a client-centred attack to societal work can be seen in a figure of of import developments such as the Children ‘s Act ( 1989 ) , Mental Health Act ( 2004 ) and Community Care ( Direct Payments ) Act 1996 ( Butler and Roberts, 2004 ) . In the statute law, the procedure is underlined that the involvement of the client group must be respected at all times ( Greene, 2008 ) . From this we can reap a postmodernist position that illustrates a displacement off from a traditional impression that the societal worker exists to make up one’s mind what is best for the service user ( Greene, 2008 ) . In such instances, the societal worker exists in order to ease the client ‘s entree to services and resources that would profit them. In peculiar, the societal worker can non coerce an single to take on the benefit that is offered to them and is frequently restricted in the extent to which they can try to carry the service user that such an action may be of personal benefit ( Howe, 1994, ) . The postmodernist ethos is therefore illustrated by the fact that no 1 in this paradigm is claiming to hold a cosmopolitan thought of what would outdo profit the client, but instead merely supply suggestions to this terminal ( Butler and Roberts, 2004 ) . Such a policy therefore places the burden upon the service user to take what they want, instead than hold such determinations made for them ( Greene, 2008 ) . This is attempted every bit far as is possible, with the pick being taken off from the service user merely in state of affairss where they can non be judged to be mentally able to do such determinations. Impressions of partnership and engagement potentially enable the positions of the service user to be prioritized and committedness made to the uncertainness and capriciousness of life nevertheless the trouble lies in adequately researched pattern.

The impact of the postmodern ethos upon the research paradigm in the societal scientific disciplines has besides resulted in a important consequence upon modern-day societal work. This can best be demonstrated by the challenge that was raised against the empirical model of research by the qualitative surveies ( Scheurich, 1997 ) . This is an illustration of acknowledgment of a pluralist model of understanding within the research field ( Green, 2008 ) Rather than utilize empirical research in order to set up the nonsubjective world that can be observed by the independent perceiver, the postmodern ethos challenges this impression by showing that the person ‘s position of world is every bit valid ( Scheurich, 1997 ) . Qualitative research developed which demonstrated the impression of what was valid by each person ‘s impression of society instead than one which aimed to enforce or spot an overarching empiricist position ( Scheurich, 1997 ) . Although this development can be argued non to be a cardinal portion of the postmodern thesis in that it was an undertone that emerged in modern-day societal work theory before the development came approximately, the postmodern procedure is a description of this procedure and it is an look of the alterations that are a cardinal portion of postmodernism. Contemporary societal work research additions much from the postmodern position in the research field which illustrates the ways in which client demands are addressed by societal work pattern from a more personal position instead than imposed from above ( Scheurich, 1997 ) . Furthermore, the qualitative research paradigm challenges the given that all research can be generalised between different contexts. This is an of import influence and has brought a important profusion to societal work research.

The intersection between research and pattern has received a postmodern influence in the development of evidence-based pattern ( Smith, 2004 ) . This illustrates a important postmodern set in the sense that instead than policy-based pattern or a pattern attack that is significantly influenced by empiricist research entirely, the thought of evidence-based pattern remainders upon the apprehension that there is no cardinal objectiveness to the societal work context ( Greene, 2008 ) . This recognizes that the grounds of past state of affairss and intercessions in similar contexts can merely inform the possible way for an action, instead than one that dictates the manner in which the action should alter ( Smith, 2004 ) . This is of import in its development for societal work, as it demonstrates that non merely has the empiricist research paradigm been challenged by the postmodern ethos, but the relationship of such research to societal work ( Greene, 2008 ) . The interesting consequence of this is that it is non merely the attack to research that reflects the postmodern ethos, but besides the manner in which all research is interpreted and applied in societal work pattern irrespective of its theoretical beginning. This therefore suggests that the single demands to happen the balance between their ain reading of a state of affairs and an assessment of grounds that has been gleaned from legion positions old to the original one ( Menert et al. , 2000 ) . This consequences in the importance of utilizing grounds to endorse up determinations which is a impression that falls short of establishing and steering determinations by grounds entirely. The usage of cognition within societal work hence shows a postmodern angle given that the application of cognition that is guided by the societal work pretenses to scientific cogency is non the driving force of the societal work interaction of evidence-based pattern, but each person is expected to happen a balance between their assessment of a state of affairs and their application of the usage of grounds in an effectual manner ( Smith, 2004 ) .

Contemporary societal work would hence look to be mostly model of a postmodern position. This can be illustrated by the fact that the position of the person has emerged non merely in the development of client-focused pattern, or in the development of a qualitative research, but besides in the accent of the influence of the societal worker upon pattern ( Smith, 2004 ) . This can be demonstrated by the fact that evidence-based pattern falls short of a full and gettable pattern way, merely offering avenues of development instead than full nonsubjective point of views. The impression that there are generalizations that can be made from each state of affairs is upheld alongside the impression that there are context-specific elements to each portion of societal work pattern ( Dominelli, 2010 ) . As a consequence, the go-between between all these influences lies in the societal worker themselves ( Fook and Gardner 2007 ) .Reflexivity complements postmodernism and alerts us to knowledge and power and the dominant discourses. Understanding that power is exercised instead than possessed and can take many signifiers, enables the acknowledgment of the possibilities of contradiction, alteration and struggle and their historical significance. “ What it is possible to talk at any minute ‘ Foucault ( 1980:93 ) The societal worker demands to recognize within themselves the assorted influences that lead them to do determinations by the procedures of deconstruction. By bring outing concealed premises and binary thought in the building of individualities in relation to biographies both in the workplace and within civilization will enable accounts in both international and transverse cultural work ( Fook and Gardner 2007 ) . Although it is proposed that the societal worker themselves needs to obtain an nonsubjective point of view, the accent on brooding pattern represents a development that this is non entirely possible given that postmodern critical contemplation has little in the manner of appraising procedures and the societal worker needs to larn from their ain built-in inclinations in each pattern ( Dominelli, 2010 ) .

The factors therefore far discussed demonstrate acknowledgment of the subjective component in societal work, one which was non understood in the modernist hypothesis where the presence of an nonsubjective truth was cardinal. The hereafter of ethical societal work pattern may be lonely, risky, equivocal and fraught ( Hugman, 2003 ) . Brooding pattern therefore demonstrates the acknowledgment within societal work that the single practician holds a position of world that is every bit valid as any other position, and their efforts to continue any possible values of societal work in their pattern will needfully be mediated by this person ( Herrman, 2006, ) . This finally stems from the impression that between the context-specific and the general is positioned an single societal worker or group of societal workers who provide the mediation between the client and services ( Greene, 2008 ) . The importance of the person has been increased in societal work and every personal position of world is, as such, examined and emphasized. Social work therefore can non avoid exposing elements of the postmodern, and a treatment of the postmodern allows us to understand how the different influences and ambiguities play in modern-day societal work pattern in neo-liberal society, and as demonstrated by the development of client-centred pattern, qualitative research methodological analysiss, evidence-based pattern and brooding pattern.

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