12 Pages

Introduction: Postmodernisation and Change in Social Work and Social Welfare

ByElizabeth Harlow

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book introduces the term and scrutinises its impact on the public sector in general. It focuses on developments in the UK and in so doing draws attention to the decline of the welfare state and the predominantly centralised provision of services. The book argues that social work has traditionally been regarded as a feminine occupation. It explores the influence of postmodernism on social policy and social work. The book discusses the movement of people across national boundaries. It presents the general shift in the UK away from the ‘classic welfare state’ to the mixed economy of welfare. The rise of managerialism and the nature of change have to be understood within the context of four more general processes of postmodernisation. These processes are: political economic decentralisation; localisation; fragmentation; and desocietalisation.