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Open Access Degrowth for transformational alternatives as radical social work practice

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence.

Historically, and in modern times, social workers have been culpable in perpetuating the very systems of oppression that we seek to eliminate. This happens as we are part of cultures and economies that operate out of the growth ideology. Acting in accordance with the growth ideology does not lead to the outcomes that we strive for as professional social workers. Rather, the growth ideology results in growing social inequalities and increasing ecological injustices around the world. Social work can, instead, embrace an ecosocial lens and promote degrowth approaches for transformational alternatives. Rather than reinforcing the existing systems of injustice and oppression, radical social work can take an activist role and bring about urgent and radical changes to promote ecological justice through social and ecological well-being. Examples from radical social work in local and international communities demonstrate the possibility of degrowth for transformational alternatives as radical social work practice.
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Keywords: degrowth; ecological justice; ecosocial; ecosocial work; transformation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 2019

This article was made available online on October 22, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Degrowth for transformational alternatives as radical social work practice".

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  • An International Journal

    Critical and Radical Social Work is an exciting new journal that will promote debate and scholarship around a range of engaged social work themes. The journal publishes papers which seek to analyse and respond to issues, such as the impact of global neo-liberalism on social welfare; austerity and social work; social work and social movements; social work, inequality and oppression, and understanding and responding to global social problems (such as war, disasters and climate change).

    It welcomes contributions that consider and question themes relating to the definition of social work and social work professionalism, that look at ways in which organic and 'indigenous' practice can expand concepts of the social work project and that consider alternative and radical histories of social work activity. As a truly international journal it actively encourages contributions from academics, scholars and practitioners from across the global village.

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