Encountering social work through STS

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Abstract

Encountering social work through STS: Marginalization, materials and knowledge
In this presentation, I attempt to produce an encounter between STS and social work. Concretely, I focus on the subset of social work called “local community work”, which in Denmark is used to intervene on marginalized housing areas. The Danish state and its municipalities diligently track and monitor the statistics of social housing areas. Using “parameters of marginalization” such as ethnicity, income, unemployment and education, topographical depictions of social issues in certain areas are constituted and used to demarcate areas as particularly problematic. Such classifications set in motion an array of legal, social and physical interventions and precautions. Broadly seen, these interventions and precautions are all part of a political attempt to interpellate different futures for marginalized areas and their inhabitants. Local community work derives from this assemblage of policy and knowledge as the “social” intervention commonly deployed. Based on an ethnographic field work, I examine how local community practices attempt to interpellate specific futures for individuals and their local environments. I do this by examining the materials and types of knowledge that participate in shaping local community work practices and encounters between local community workers and residents in marginalized housing areas. Through this analysis, I argue that social work research can benefit from orienting itself more concretely towards the materials and materialized knowledges that enact its practice, and that STS can benefit from orienting itself more towards the “mundane” fields of “low tech” (Jensen, 2001), that nevertheless provide an important undergirding of our everyday.
Original languageDanish
Publication date2 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2016
EventDASTS - Aarhus Universitet, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 2 Jun 20163 Jun 2016

Conference

ConferenceDASTS
LocationAarhus Universitet
CountryDenmark
CityAarhus
Period02/06/201603/06/2016

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