What should social work learn from 'the fire of social movements that burns at the heart of the society'?
Harms Smith, Linda
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SMITH, L.H. 2015. What should social work learn from 'the fire of social movements that burns at the heart of the society'? Critical and radical social work [online], 3(1), pages 19-34. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1332/204986015X14226342177835
That social work should be 'on the side of the poor and the oppressed' in the context of the ubiquitous and increasingly pernicious consequences of global neoliberal capitalism, demands a differently engaged practice (Dominelli, 2004; Ferguson and Lavalette, 2006; Ferguson, 2008; Reisch, 2013; Sewpaul, 2013). This requires 'greater system destabilising and social change efforts, and not the traditional social control and status-quo-maintaining functions of social work' (Sewpaul, 2013: 23). The struggles for social and economic justice waged by global and local social movements may therefore provide insights and impetus for such 'differently engaged' radical and transformative practice. This article explores the processes and strategies of two South African social movements and suggests that social work should incorporate some of the discourses of these movements for expansion of its theoretical base for transformation and social change.