New culture of welfare: the clash between managerial ideology, public image and professional identity/Vilnius (Lithuania)
|August 23, 2009||to||August 28, 2009|
The International Social Work & Society Academy 2009
TiSSA Plenum: August 26th to 28th 2009
PreConference of the TiSSA PhD-Network: August 23rd to 25th 2009
Welfare regimes are facing a fundamental transformation on a global scale. The shift of paradigms, procedures and perspectives becomes obvious in analysing the dominant social political terms like audit-system, efficiency and effectiveness, self-responsibility and activating. Moreover, the contradictory constructions of citizens on the one hand as powerful, flexible and responsible members in their communities and on the other hand as unpredictable, detached and threatening individuals mark a strain in current welfare formations.
Social professions are challenged to positioning themselves within this new culture of welfare. The managerial ideology squeezes social professions to become more standardized, (specialized) and fragmented in order to implement evidence-based, countable and calculable practice in social services.
The public image of social professions increasingly focuses on prevention and control. Social services are perceived as institutions of policing rather than institutions of civil society, characterized by the pressure of `demand and support`.
Along with these utilization, attribution and perception social professions are confronted with a degradation of their interpretative authority in the struggle of the definition of social problems.
The professional identity is continuously developed in the triangle of education, organisation and individual practice. In its progressive way, it comprises critical theory and practice as well as ethical and political contexts, includes a strong mode of reflexivity and the orientation on social justice and empowerment. But within the new culture of welfare, the professional identity is a contested claim. To keep the disposal of the definition and interpretation of professional identity is the central challenge of current social professions, emancipatory social practice and social work policy.
The international ‘Social Work & Society’ Academy (TiSSA) provides a forum for involving professionals and academics in innovative discussion on theory and practice at the cutting edge of the social professions. Its overall aim is to identify how the needs of a wide range of societies experiencing transition can be met through the generation of new knowledge, concepts and models. The organizers of TiSSA assume, that socio-economical developments indicate categorically that social work has to deal with its relation to the respective societies in a critical way, in order to build out a clear professional profile for the future, for a renewal of perspectives and to improve its agency. Any site of economic, political and social transition poses a challenge to social professions to reflect on new approaches to social work. In doing so, The international ‘Social Work & Society’ Academy focuses on
- promoting a comparative approach to the analysis of social work and society
- enhancing the development of knowledge, skills and experience
- shaping organizational changes and new governance processes
- analyzing quality criteria and reflecting on best practice
- encouraging the international dissemination and exchange of information on significant developments.
This reflection shall take place in the setting of The international ‘Social Work & Society’ Academy in two ways: TiSSA Plenum & inter-university PhD-Network.
The TiSSA Plenum is the annual meeting of academics and professionals from all over the world. Based on the constitutive aims and perspectives, each Plenum deals with one central issue for contemporary social work on a global scale. Plenary sessions, panel debates and working groups excite serious but lively discussions. Field visits and the social program allow forging closer links to the colleagues. The Plenum is borne by the inquisitiveness and engagement of the participants, which realize each program by their papers and statements and vitalize the idea of a cross-national network of social professions.
The PhD-Network of The international ‘Social Work & Society’ Academy aspires to establish a broad international cooperation of PhD-students in the social professions. Within the structure of TiSSA an active participation in current professional debates is promoted and supported. Emergent scholars get the opportunity to present their dissertation projects in a broad international context and to enlist contacts relevant for their research topic. Thus a new generation of professionals could acquire and exercise those skills, which are necessary to cope with contemporary challenges of societies in transition and their impact on social services.
The Call for Papers is now open: TISSA Call for Papers
More information on the conference will soon be available at the TISSA homepage
Add comment March 28th, 2009