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There Nothing beyond Postmodernism and the ”Theoretical Other”? The Need for Balancing Universalism and Diversity in Social Work
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Social Welfare, ISSN 1369-6866, E-ISSN 1468-2397, Vol. 18, no 3, 317-322 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In his article, ‘Against difference and diversity in social work: the case of human rights’, Stephen Webb captures several important problems concerning the application of a postmodern human rights perspective in social work. Although accepting Webb's diagnosis, for example that the postmodern discourse neglects basic structural conditions essential for understanding social problems and thus leads to a policy of symbols and rhetoric, this article argues that Webb reifies the perspectives of diversity and universalism and misses the need for balancing these aspects in the practice of social work. Some general argumentative techniques in the postmodern discourse are identified, and it is argued that several of Webb's conclusions are reached via those argumentative techniques, particularly when it comes to his claim that the philosopher Alain Badiou could play a central role for social work. The possibility of implementing in social work general philosophical programmes such as Alain Badiou's is questioned.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 18, no 3, 317-322 p.
Keyword [en]
postmodernism, universalism in social work
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-35090DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2397.2009.00659.xOAI: diva2:286376
Available from: 2010-01-14 Created: 2010-01-14 Last updated: 2012-02-16Bibliographically approved

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