The rhetoric of urgency and theory-practice tensions

Grimwood, Tom ORCID logo ORCID: (2020) The rhetoric of urgency and theory-practice tensions. European Journal of Social Work, 25 (1). pp. 15-25.

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What does urgency mean for social work today? It seems that whichever way one turns, a sense of urgency is prevalent: whether the persistent time pressures exerted in day-to-day practice, or the recurrent themes of impending crisis confronting the profession itself. Frequently, these strains on time and resource perpetuate a division of ‘theory’ and ‘practice’. In some cases, this is simply a re-assertion of the view that a social worker should get the practice done, and think about the theory later. But there is also a sense in which, under the neoliberal governance of social provision, urgency has become far more of an inherent feature of social work. This suggests a need to re-think the ways of acknowledging and representing this urgency, the problem of time that underlies the relationship between social work practice and theoretical inquiry, and the models of critique that can be applied to it. This paper applies an interdisciplinary approach to considering the impact of urgency on practice, by drawing together social work research with the tools of classical rhetoric and philosophy, in order to continue the growing discussions around the conceptual basis of social work, and in particular the concept of time itself within neoliberal social care.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: European Journal of Social Work
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1369-1457
Departments: Health and Society Knowledge Exchange (HASKE)
Institute of Health > Social Work, Children and Families
Depositing User: Tom Grimwood
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2020 10:06
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2024 11:47


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