Sara Ashencaen Crabtree, Jonathan Parker
Sara Ashencaen Crabtree is Professor of Social and Cultural Diversity, co-convenor of the Women’s Academic at Bournemouth University and Visiting Professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. She has worked extensively overseas in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and the Middle East and is widely published in areas of discrimination and disadvantage, cross-cultural issues and belief. She is the author of Women of Faith and the Quest for Spiritual Authenticity, the first European book on Islam and Social Work. She is currently engaged in research concerning women’s relationships with religions.
Jonathan Parker is Professor of Society & Social Welfare at Bournemouth University, and Visiting Professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Doctoral programme team member at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan. He was one of the founders and director of the Family Assessment and Support Unit, a placement agency attached to the University of Hull. He was Chair of the Association of Teachers in Social Work Education until 2005, Vice Chair of the UK higher education representative body, the Joint University Council for Social Work Education from 2005–2010 and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
OBJECTIVES: The aims of the paper are to subject the ontologies of social welfare in Britain to critical scrutiny, in respect of examining political ideologies of neoliberalism and austerity; and the impact of these upon the value-driven role and remit of professional social work, which has developed as an essential arm of the post-War, British Welfare State. THEORETICAL BASE: Although the erosion of the Welfare State has been subject to a number of social policy critiques, here the authors offer an alternative understanding of social welfare, as inspired by the Islamic principle of zakāt. METHODS: This paper offers a conceptual, discursive analysis. OUTCOME: Operating as a socio-religio-political concept, zakāt provides a sharply contrasting alternative understanding to social weald, capitalism and the State, serving to reframe prevailing political rationalisations and policy measures as that which are fundamentally harmful to social cohesion in generating rising social need. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Growing social need, artificially inflated through political ideology, carries ruinous implications for social work provision in terms of State (un)accountability for social welfare and overtly politicised social work mandates.
zakāt, Welfare State, austerity, values
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