Anarchist theory and social work/social development

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sherbu-kteer
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Joined: 19-08-17
Jul 3 2018 13:20
Anarchist theory and social work/social development

Hi all. I'm studying social work and am preparing to do an honours thesis on potential relationships between anarchist ideas and social work practice. Particularly developmental social work practice*. Does anyone know any constructive work done in this area previously? I've had a look in academic databases but haven't found much; I know there's a book edited by Martin Gilbert about anarchism and social work hosted on the libcom library.

Not to bore you all with the details but my idea so far is to sketch out an anarchist understanding of social development (maybe referencing Proudhon's ideas about mutuality and progress, Kropotkin's mutual aid, etc) and then develop this understanding into either an ethical framework or a practice model for those working in the area.

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about what I'm attempting to do, if you think there's any leads I should look into, etc. If you have any feedback on my thesis idea I'd be more than happy to hear that too!

* Developmental social work is about enacting social change that promotes the wellbeing and capabilities of whole populations. It's usually framed as social work that focuses on the development of entire communities, not just individuals. An example of developmental social work practice could be something like working in an NGO mobilising resources to try and improve women's literacy in a particularly deprived area. It's not just about providing immediate solutions to specific individual problems, but general social uplift.

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Ivysyn
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Jul 9 2018 00:54

I would look at the history of Anarchism as a social movement that took part in labor, women's, and anti-colonial struggles. Some reading on this could be Anarchism and Anarcho-syndicalism in The Colonial and Post-Colonial World, Introduction to Anarcho-syndicalism by Selfed, Fighting For Ourselves by Solidarity Federation, Anarcho-syndicalism In The 20th Century by Vadim Damier, and Socialism, Anarchism, and Feminism by Carol Ehrlich.

sherbu-kteer
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Joined: 19-08-17
Jul 18 2018 15:35

Thank you for the suggestions, I will definitely look into those.