Putting old heads on young shoulders: helping social work students uncover the neoliberal hegemony

Jane Fenton (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
184 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper explores the suggestion that younger students and social workers are more accepting of neoliberal social work practices than their older counterparts, understanding social problems more readily as failings of individual behaviour rather than as produced by societal forces such as inequality, poverty, and punitive social policy. The suggestion is made that the acceptance of a hegemonic view of people in poverty and other difficulties, which is simple and reductionist, and therefore, easy to grasp, can only be challenged by sophisticated critical thinking. Assignment results from two modules within one social work programme which significantly correlate marks attained and student age are considered in the light of the suggestion that younger students are struggling with critical thinking, and therefore, with deconstructing the neoliberal hegemony.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-954
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Work Education
Volume37
Issue number8
Early online date2 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Students
  • age
  • critical thinking
  • neoliberalism

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