Social work in a Brave New World
[“I'm thinking of a queer feeling I sometimes get, a feeling that I've got something important to say and the power to say it—only I don't know what it is, and I can't make any use of the power.” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Huxley’s fictional tale of a “Brave New World” provokes an interesting reflection on contemporary social work. Huxley’s characters were suppressed and oppressed by their political, social and technological environment. Efforts to quell the masses and eliminate independent thought required the compulsory use of the drug, soma. Soma ensured Huxley’s characters were anaesthetised leaving them unable to find their voice, enact their power or even really care about it. Given the environments in which many social workers find themselves, it seems reasonable to consider how empowered social workers feel to protest against injustice and breaches of human rights. In some countries social workers are constrained by neoliberal agendas and are increasingly limited in the help they can provide. In others, social workers are oppressed by governments and face imprisonment if they speak out. Government and non-government agencies have guidelines about what can be publically discussed and the use of social media is often prohibited, and where whistle blower laws exist they are often inadequate.
Social work research and practice: Contributions to a science of social work
Social Work not elsewhere classified