In the late nineteenth century, Charles Booth’s landmark social and economic survey found that 35 percent of Londoners were living in abject poverty. Booth’s team of social investigators interviewed Londoners from all walks of life, recording their comments, together with their own unrestrained remarks and statistical information, in 450 notebooks. Their findings formed the basis of Booth’s color-coded social mapping (from vicious and semi-criminal to wealthy) and his seventeen-volume survey Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People of London, 1886-1903.
Social work is under unprecedented pressure as a result of funding cuts, political interventions, marketisation and welfare transformations which, combined, are dramatically reshaping the relationship between individuals and the welfare state.
In austerity Britain, disabled people have been recast as worthless scroungers. From social care to the benefits system, politicians and the media alike have made the case that Britain’s 12 million disabled people are nothing but a drain on the public purse. In Crippled, journalist and campaigner Frances Ryan exposes the disturbing reality, telling the stories of those most affected by this devastating regime.
WHILE READING Peter Pomerantsev’s new book, I kept experiencing the strange feeling that Marx and Engels were whispering in my ear:
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. […] Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
A shocking investigation into America’s housing crisis and the modern-day robber barons who made money off the backs of the disenfranchised working class—among them, Trump and his inner circle.
This first book in the Research in Social Work series, published in association with the European Social Work Research Association, provides an accessible way to think about this question. Drawing on evidence from across Europe, Asia and the USA, it covers how research is conducted, used, and perceived.
In Manufacturing Decline, Jason Hackworth traces how the conservative movement has used the imagery and ideas of urban decline since the 1970s to advance their cause. Through a comparative study of shrinking Rust Belt cities, he argues that the rhetoric of the troubled “inner city” has served as a proxy for other social conflicts around race and class. In particular, conservatives have used images of urban decay to craft “dog-whistle” messages to racially resentful whites, garnering votes for the Republican Party and helping justify limits on local autonomy in distressed cities. The othering of predominantly black industrial cities has served as the basis for disinvestment and deprivation that exacerbated the flight of people and capital. Decline, Hackworth contends, was manufactured both literally and rhetorically in an effort to advance austerity and punitive policies.
The conclusions of the publication are the result of long-standing ethnographic research carried out in escort agencies, as well as unstructured interviews with their employees and clients. The book is addressed to people who are interested in qualitative sociology, interpretative sociology, and those who would like to understand contemporary escort agencies which operate in Poland.
She argues compellingly that there is a concerted effort on the part of the political right to increase fertility and put the financial and psychic cost of raising children onto families in general, and mothers in particular. “Why,” she asks, “when it is so hard to afford children and arrange for their care, is our government making it harder for us to control whether we have them?” Far from a contradiction, Brown argues that anti-social services, pro-natalist conservative policies are actually in harmony: social and fiscal conservatives want women to reproduce new consumers and workers on the cheap.