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The Operations of Risk: The Meaning, Emotion and Morality of Risk Identities in Social Work Practice

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Stanford, Sonya (2007) The Operations of Risk: The Meaning, Emotion and Morality of Risk Identities in Social Work Practice. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This study explores how risk operates as a concept and practice in social workers’
interventions. Concern has been expressed within the critical social work risk
literature that risk operates as a morally conservative and repressive construct in
social work practice within the context of neo-liberal risk society. This thesis explores
whether the influence of risk is necessarily as totalising of our professional identities,
and in turn our practices, as this literature would suggest. Thus the aim of the research
has been to identify whether spaces exist within social workers’ practice contexts that
enable them to resist invitations into the moral conservatism of negative constructs of
risk. My assumption has been that forearmed with this knowledge, as individual
practitioners or collectively as a profession, we will have a greater capacity to ‘speak
back’ to the morally conservative ethos of risk that pervades welfare discourses in
neo-liberal risk society. To progress the aim of the study, I have asked the question
‘How are ideas about risk constituted and integrated into social workers’
interventions?’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2008 04:44
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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