Emotional practices and the economy of care and sympathy

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Emotional practices are a basic feature of social work and in building relationships and knowledge about families. This chapter begins by discussing knowledge about emotional practices in social work and points to the limited knowledge about how broader changes in the development of welfare affect the emotional economy of care in social work. Based on this, the chapter offers a theoretical perspective on the emotional economy of sympathy and care which in social work is related to professional ideas and ways of practicing authority and attentiveness to needs. Based on our explorations, we suggest that the economy of sympathy and care in social work with families refer to three emotional practices: Creating a feeling of a close and authentic mutual relationship with children and parents; being tough and maintain a professional distance by distributing emotional attention to the child and demanding parental responsibility; and emotional endurance: knowledge, solidarity and sympathy with disadvantaged families. These are different responses to economic, governmental and managerial strategies with regards to how welfare should be distributed and indicate a need for raising consciousness about how emotional investment in care for vulnerable people is governed and managed.
TitelCare in Social Work with Children and Families : Theory, Everyday Practices and Possibilities for Social Change
RedaktørerMaria Appel Nissen, Mie Engen, Andreas Møller Jørgensen
Antal sider18
Publikationsdatoapr. 2023
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-032-30871-5
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-003-30791-4
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2023


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