Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Garrett, PM
2009
April
Journal Of Social Work
Marx and 'Modernization' Reading Capital as Social Critique and Inspiration for Social Work Resistance to Neoliberalization
Published
()
Optional Fields
Marxism modernization neoliberalism resistance CHILDREN POSTMODERNITY MODERNITY GRAMSCI
9
199
221
Despite the marginalization of Marxism with social work, Karl Marx's Capital still provides a devastating critique of capitalism and remains a vital resource for social workers seeking to understand and develop strategies of resistance to neoliberalization.Findings: Marx provides a number of 'reminders' or 'coordinates' which might help us to make sense of transformations taking place within the 'world of work' today. More fundamentally, he illuminates aspects of 'actually existing capitalism'. Furthermore, focusing on the first volume of Capital helps us to think about a constellation of connected factors, loosely referred to under the headings of time, toil (or labour) and technology, underpinning the 'modernization' of social work and related areas of activity. The book also remains important because it reminds contemporary readers that capitalism is an exploitative economic system which damages bodies and minds. In this context, it is significant that Marx was perturbed and outraged by how the lives of children were being destroyed by the dynamic, unregulated power of capital.Applications: It would be erroneous to assume we can mechanically apply Marx's work in manifestly different times and circumstances. Rather, we have to 'do our own work', in our particular time, place, and professional field and ponder whether some of the ideas adumbrated by Marx, in the late 19th century, still have contemporary resonance and meaning within neoliberal modernity.
DOI 10.1177/1468017308101822
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