Social development work takes place in the grey area between government and the voluntary and community sectors. This book, written by three well-known educators and researchers in the social policy and development field, explores the ways in which front-line professionals working with communities identify and address the dilemmas inherent in the current policy context.
Drawing upon original material, the authors examine how 'community engagement' workers negotiate the ethical and emotional challenges they face; how they work through problems of community representation at interpersonal and team levels; how they manage the conflicting roles of local activist and paid worker and what role colleagues, management and others play when responding to such challenges.
The dilemmas of development work reconnects to, and updates, an important tradition in social policy which explores the dilemmas of 'street-level' work. It draws on contemporary political theory and current debates concerning the modernisation of governance and psycho-social perspectives on identity, values and agency. Combining theory and practice, it will appeal to practitioners, policy makers and undergraduates in social and public policy.
"This book casts a refreshingly comprehensive eye on a deeply ambivalent sphere of practice. What makes it particularly valuable is its focus on the increasingly complex dilemmas and challenges faced by development professionals in a rapidly changing world." Mae Shaw, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh
"This book offers a timely and important insight into the values, motivations and dilemmas of development workers in the context of modernising public services. The skilful interweaving of material from interviews with critical analysis of the current policy climate makes gives it a unique and important focus." Professor Sarah Banks, School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University
Shaw's testimonial in reviews
Paul Hoggett is Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for Psycho-Social Studies at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
Marjorie Mayo is Professor of Community Development at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Chris Miller is Professor of Social Work, Flinders University, South Australia.
Introduction; Part one: Context, role and person: The public sphere as dilemmatic space; The nature of development work; The resilience of development workers; Workers' values and commitments; Negotiating dilemmatic space; Handling authority relations; Part two: Modernisation and beyond: Modernisation and community governance; Negotiating the modernisation agenda; The future of development work.