Towards a critical ethic of care in social work
Published on Jan 1, 2018
· DOI :10.4324/9781315399188-1
We begin the introductory chapter by reviewing the current state of knowledge about care in social work. The historical and current concerns about the dangers of paternalistic and colonialist forms of care in social work are presented. This involves engaging with the critique that the contemporary discussions about care reflect a Western bias that ignores Indigenous and inter-cultural framings of care. We also interrogate the gender dimensions of care, moving away from essentialist views that posit natural differences between men’s and women’s ways of thinking. Drawing from wider interdisciplinary discussions and international research that focuses on creating critical and political forms of care, we develop a conceptual framework for new ways of thinking about and doing care in critical social work. We take a consistently anti-colonialist and intersectional approach to the development of a critical ethic of care in social work. The chapter concludes with a substantive guide to the reader in which we synthesise the contributions of the book’s authors, demonstrating what a critical ethic of care means in specific contexts and with specific forms of practice.