For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Hannah Arendt and social work: A critical commentary"

by Garrett, Paul Michael (2020)


Although social work engagement with Hannah Arendt has been meagre, it has been recently suggested that her conceptualisations are significant for the profession. This article seeks to problematise the presentation of Arendt to a social work readership, highlighting the failure to adequately historicise her work. In terms of her ideas, there is much to gain in examining this intellectuals prolific and often controversial contributions, and seven dimensions are identified as significant for the times in which we live. Nevertheless, there are still major criticisms which can be levelled at her core conceptualisations. The article dwells on Arendts theorisation of the private, the public and the social, and it is suggested that she is unaligned with sociologically informed theorisation underpinning critical and radical social work.


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