False Positive: social work and the personalisation agenda

I am a Social Work Student on placement in a statutory agency. I was recently invited to take part in some ‘training’ about the Personalisation Agenda for which I was very grateful. However, this training would have been better described as ‘marketing’ as there was no ‘training’ element involved in the short presentation that was given. It was a very good presentation, as far as presentations go.

When attendees of the ‘training opportunity’ posed valid and reasonable questions and made specific evidence-based queries, the trainer called them ‘Cynics’. Firstly, I found this a bit rude and also inaccurate, the spirit of enquiry in the questions and queries posed was, if anything, in the Skeptical Tradition; but being branded a ‘Cynic’ did silence all the enquirers.

(One of the points raised was about the link in Psychology between ‘outcome led thinking’ and ‘Consequentialism’, which seems a very relevant point to raise when dialogue has been invited upon the subject)

Secondly I thought this was a simple example of how a Language Game works in practice. It is real Power Play, Social Control if you will, and not “Just Semantics” as I am often told.

Join Swan Now

We want to develop a network of service users, practicitioners, academics and students to support radical and progressive social work. We need a social work that is ready to challenge oppressive practice, that means working collectively across the country and internationally to advance Social Work.