Compare and contrast the development and practice of social work in England and one other European Union country and the value of this comparison to your own perspective of social work.

Compare and contrast the development and practice of social work in England and one other European Union country and the value of this comparison to your own perspective of social work.

This essay will firstly discuss the different welfare models that exist, secondly converse the similarities and differences of the development of England and Denmark’s welfare state. Thirdly view the development of social work in Denmark compared with England. Fourthly discuss the impact of globalisation and Europeanisation on social work. Finally, outline some of the challenges which are faced by social workers followed by a conclusion.  

There are three primary models within the welfare state. The middle European model utilises notions of social cohesion and solidarity. Within this model, individuals have opportunities for social integration and human development aided by their location within a civil society based on solidarity. From a social work perspective, this model conveys the solidarity of a caring civil society, additionally, enables people to arrange self help therefore social integration and human growth are “based on the idea of civilisation” (Littlechild and Lyons, 2003).

The Scandinavian welfare state regime (also known as the Nordic model) is an interaction of state socialism and market capitalism. It is based on the principle of social security for all which is provided by the state through comprehensive systems of national insurance and welfare services. Within the social work context, this model enables people to use the complex systems of benefits and services in relation to their rights and needs (Littlechild and Lyons, 2003).  

Denmark is a small European state operating the Scandinavian welfare state regime,which joined the European Union two decades ago. The development of social work in Denmark began in 1849 with the Constitutional Act of Denmark that confirmed that the state was to provide for citizens who were unable to support either themselves or their families. Between 1871- 1892, the Danish legislature was accountable for the various numbers of social reforms, and the process ended in the Social Reform Act of 1933, which moulded the foundation of the modern Danish Welfare state. During the twentieth century, this arrangement became subject to contestations. Based on ideas about the “moral differentiations” (Campanini and Frost, 2004, p 45) of the poor, those in receipt of support were constructed as either ‘deserving’ such as the disabled, ill or the elderly or ‘undeserving’ such as people considered to be “work-shy” (Campanini and Frost, 2004, pg45) This in turn, impacted on notions of the allocation of resources.

However, the Anglo-American model which entails managing and solving the problems of the poorest of the poor, can be linked to ideas about individualism and individual self determination. This model is cohesive with capitalism. Within the social work framework of this model, individuals are enabled to solve their problems by utilising various therapies. It is additionally, linked to the principles of human rights. 

The Anglo-American welfare state regime structure operates in Britain. While English state interventions can be traced as far back as the 1388 Poor Law Act, the historical early interventions in the lives of the poor in England were directed by the church and resourced through private charitable relief provided by middle class philanthropists. A series of Poor Law reforms during the period of the 19 century, which is dissimilar to Denmark, altered this top-down arrangement moving the onus of welfare provision away from the parish churches and onto the state, changing the form of welfare settlement from one that was “essentially individualistic to one that is, in essence, collective (Campanini & Frost 2004, pg 53). 

Before the mid-twentieth century, state intervention in people lives in England was determined by the twin principles of ‘least eligibility’ and ‘deserving’/‘undeserving’ poor, which is similar to Denmark, on the contrary these both derived from the 1834 Poor Law.  Welfare benefits were set at a level below that of the least well paid worker to provide an incentive to work and disincentive to be dependent on Poor Law relief. The poor were shifted into categories of “deserving” and “undeserving to target “benefits” and to avoid compounding the “faults of charter” (Campanini & Frost 2004, pg 53), which were alleged to lead to idleness, ignorance, immorality and dependence as the ‘deserving”  received “some form of aid” (Campanini & Frost 2004)In 1942 Beveridge made several recommendations and legislation followed these recommendations. There was a complete revision of the welfare system, which was based on ideas of collectivism. The Beveridge Act is an important piece of legislation and one that single-handedly created the modern welfare state. In 1948 the local authority personal service was replaced by the old Poor. Therefore, social work in the UK was developed as a philosophy of benevolence and the promotion of equality to be accomplished via the state supported by the government regulation of statutory provision and specialist professional interventions. 

During the late 1970s and 1980s the welfare state faced various spending crises and was subject to contestations from both the political left and right regarding efficient use of resources. The Labour party sought greater efficacy through increased political input, and more state involvement while the Conservatives supported a reduction of state involvement and more dynamic management techniques and most significantly during the 1980s and early 1990s, a market orientated public service (Campanini & Frost 2004). 

The market-model of welfare provision supported by the Conservatives was part of the political initiative to remove the state from the provision of services (Campanini & Frost 2004) and was based on the notion that “managing the welfare state is the same as running a business” (Adams, Erath, Shardlow 2000, pg 126). It reconstructed those using welfare services within a model of consumerism. In this, clients or service users are regarded as ‘consumers’, ‘service purchasers’ and ‘customers’. This interacted with a restructuring of welfare services and professional roles for example the transformation of the social work role to encompass care management: assessing need and overseeing provision.  

This was further complemented by the current New Labour government’s ‘third way’ manifesto, which led to additional amendments in the principles of welfare provision. The effects of the ‘third way’ are clear in the movement of focus away from the providers of care and onto “the quality of services” (Campanini & Frost 2004 pg 54). 

Social work education in Denmark began in the 1930s with the creation of two social work schools. The first was created by Alfred T. Jorgensen with the aim of the state engaging in more demanding ‘social work’ problems, so that the church could focus its efforts in ‘lighter’ areas for instance visiting the elderly and organising children’s activities (Campanini & Frost 2004). The second school was created in 1937 by Carl Clemmenson, a medical doctor, Vera Skalts a barrister and Mannon Luttichau a social helper and Denmark’s first paid social worker in 1934. 

The school was established for anyone who had interest in social issues. In 1942 the length of a course at the school was stretched to a period of two years. The school transitioned to the National School of social work in Copenhagen, and from 1957 the length of training progressively increased (Campanini & Frost 2004). Since the 1990s the curriculum has focused on four main methodological and theoretical areas including, Law, Psychology, Psychiatry and practical training, which apart from Psychiatry, is similar to that of England.

Currently, there are five schools of social work in Denmark, which have a total of 900 students every year. Social work education takes place over three and half years, graduates are then given the title ‘Bachelor in Social Work’. The school offers part time on-line studies; a Masters in Social Work and a three and a half year specialisation in International Social Work. At present, schools in Denmark do not offer a PhD level in social work (Campanini & Frost 2004). 

The emergence of social work education in England, are similar to Denmark, which began in the 19thcentury. Movements to identify and tackle the impact of a market based industrialised society gave rise to the Charity Organisation Society (COS) which aimed to reduce the poverty brought about by the “failure of the economy to create an equitable distribution of social resources” (Campanini & Frost 2004 pg55). The COS aided the establishment of education and training of its staff, culminating in the move to the new Department of Social Science and Administration at the London School of Economics. Previous forms of case work and administration created the focal point of the curriculum (Campanini & Frost 2004).

Subsequently, the 1942 Beveridge Report selected methods of social casework, group work and community work based on an “individualistic humanistic ethic and its associated values” (Campanini & Frost 2004 pg55). Education was separated between universities and education institutions thus there were diploma or certificate level courses. 

Unlike developments in Denmark, there was an ‘intellectual purge’ during which  the Central Council for the Education and Training of Social Workers (CCETSW) removed the social sciences disciplines from the social work curriculum thus  removing “the control of the academia over professional courses” (Campanini & Frost 2004 pg55-56). This was due to the consequence of Seebohm report which involved a number of students from a background in social sciences which coincided with the growth of radical social work. Subsequently CCETSW created a set of higher education courses and qualifications including diploma level as an initial point to the profession; post qualifying bachelor’s degrees and advanced, masters level degrees. 

Dissimilar to Denmark, from2003, professional qualifying training for social workers in England transformed the required curriculum to a three year Bachelordegree in social work supported by the General Social Care Council (GSCC). This degree course is governed in part by a “Quality Assurance Agency Benchmark Statement” (QAA, 2000) which includes two clauses (3.1.2 and 3.1.5) requiring consideration of comparative (European and International) perspectives “in relation to service delivery and research findings” (Lyons, Karen 2006 pg 370). The diploma in social work and all other predecessor social work qualifications have and will remain to be recognised as valid social work qualifications. ( 

Within Denmark there are different social work professions. Unlike England, there are social pedagogues trained primarily to work with children in institutions, among those with learning difficulties and those with drugs and alcohol addiction. Various social workers in Denmark are employed in the public sector, and most are employed by local councils, dealing with social welfare benefits and providing all social services. In regards to social work interventions, Danish social workers display an awareness of counselling and therapeutic social work activities and additionally focus their contributions on educational and pedagogical issues (Campanini & Frost 2004). 

On the contrary, some of the English interventions are care management, communication, collaboration, user involvement and partnership. Additionally, English social work places more of an emphasis on those who are vulnerable, such as children and families informed by the 1989 Children Act which enforces the protection of children as paramount by explaining social workers roles and responsibilities (Gibson, Grice et al 2001). 

Larger sectors of Denmark social workers place more of an emphasis on the elderly by working with them than Britain (Hill 1991). However, Britain social workers are starting to have more of an awareness of the importance of the elderly. 

Social workers in England have a more general professional distinctiveness: working both in organisations varying from statutory to voluntary and charitable provision. Additionally, social workers can be engaged in a wide range of tasks in a combination of situations for a number of employers. Further to this, social workers tasks in England may at times overlap within a multi disciplinary team.

The Welfare state constructions were formed by the globalisation development which can no longer be navigated by universal polices. Globalisation is built on the notions of free market global economy, its foundation are tightly associated with “neo-liberal economic policy which trusts in the blessing power of the invisible hand” (Littlechild & Lyons, 2003, pg 19). 

Denmark transformed the effect of globalisation into a strategy for survival, whereby it “changed and adapted successfully to challenges of globalization while keeping the core of its particular form of the Scandinavian welfare model” (Klaus Nielsen, Stefan Kesting, 2003 pg. 365-387). There is insinuationthat the changes of neo-liberal concept on Denmark economy can maneuver its political commotionthat defies significant factors of the model (Klaus Nielsen, Stefan Kesting, 2003). 

All citizens have equal rights to social security within the Danish welfare system; various services are accessible to citizens free of charge for example, the Danish health and educational systems. The Danish welfare model is subsidised by the state, and as a result Denmark has one of the highest taxation levels in the world. (,520325&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL)

However, within Britain, the effects of Globalisation have enhanced the significance for Britain of continuing to acquire a competitive advantage in industries with major growth potential as a means of improving living standards in the long term. Globalisation has engrossed the process because of the faster diffusion of technological development; – there is a need for better investment needed in high value goods and services, such as high and medium technology manufacturing and in knowledge-intensive service sectors.  According to ‘tutor2u’ the influence of globalisation on the British government has been a change in the corporate tax regime, improvement in labour markets and the welfare. (

Globalisation and Europeanisation are associated together. A study on Europeanisation was aimed to illustrate the different impact of European influences on member states.Europeanisation refers to Europe working beneath one umbrella, in harmony, furthermore, being one integrated community.

The bologna agreement is associated to Europeanisation. It is an agreement across Europe which is expected to harmonies social work training. It is additionally, of a global standard that is likely to develop compatibility of the social work program, and portability of qualification which is the future of social work. 

Dominelli and Hoogvelt identified that globalisation and its relationship has an impact on social work. Their views are that globalisation is entrenched in the practice of social work, in that it derives its traditions from an international exchange and movement of ideas. It is these ideas that are central to the creation of the purpose and features of social work practice, “its location within state welfare systems and its organisational delivery through bureaucratic agencies” (Adams, Erath, Shardlow, 2000. pg 5). Dominelli and Hoogvelt perceive the process of globalisation as influencing service user’s understandings of autonomy, the procedures of assessment and management in respect of those who are vulnerable due to new and different understandings of ideas about “free choice, informed choice, best interests, entitlement and preference” (Adams, Erath, Shardlow, 2000 pg 5). 

There are particular challenges, which face social professionals in the EU, they entail tackling the “increasing inequalities, marginalisation and social exclusion facing minorities in all European states” (Littlechild & Lyons, 2003 pg 31).

There are common problems such as social and political language, which aids us and activates methods for tackling these problems beyond certain societies where they might possibly arise. I feel by learning from each other we are able to engage in a dialogue about our practices and the values underpinning them. Therefore, by working beneath one umbrella all countries can tackle discrimination and oppression; hence we are valuing each others perspectives as well as uniting, additionally, enhancing effective social work practice. 

I believe that social work entails a overt understanding of how discrimination and oppression show themselves in society, specifically in regards to issues around age, gender, sexuality, disability, and racism, whereas within Denmark, social work conveys a duty to social cohesion and social solidarity. According to the International Federation of Social Workers, social work in being rooted in humanitarian and democratic ideals employs underpinning values of respect, equality and human dignity motivated by the human rights and freedoms of social justice codified within national and international codes of ethics (Littlechild and Lyons, 2003).

In conclusion, I feel by having a continuous dialogue between social workers in different countries we are able to learn from each other. The continuous dialogue might provide valuable scrutiny of each other’s work practices, help raise awareness amongst social workers in different countries on specific issues, ensure there is a parity of equality offered to service user group. British social workers should embrace the values of equality and solidarity of Danish social work and seek the importance of those values within the context of an anti-discriminatory practice. Britain and Denmark may have different approaches to and different experiences of social work practice however the common underpinning values of social justice and humanitarianism could exceed those differences and afford future joint working to explore the possibilities of humanitarian welfare provision that is not subjective to international boundaries. 


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The concept ‘normality’ is complex. Critically explore ‘Learning Disabilities’ groups as an example.

The concept ‘normality’ is complex. Critically explore ‘Learning Disabilities’ groups as an example.

This essay will start ofby giving a definition on normality, and then explore the concepts of learning disabilities, along withthe arguments onlearning disabilities people moving out of long-stay hospitals and into the community.The essay will explore examples and studies of disability groups attaining to what society class as ‘normal’ living within the community. The essay will then explain what the medical model and social model declare about learning disability, along with challenges of both models and what Foucault and Goffman say in relation to the models. The essay will draw on labelling those with learning disabilities, and the positive and negative factors to having a label. 

The essay will outline the concept of the discrimination law in association to normality and disability and what the arguments are. The essay will move on to discuss the association with those with learning disabilities and social justice in regards to their class and rights, additionally what Marx and Webber arguments are on this matter. The essay will discuss the media views are on learning disability;and discuss the balance between social workers and those with a learning disability, and how they work together successfully.

There is not one specific definition for normality. According to normality is defined as “the state or fact of being normal…” (2007). It goes on to say that normality is “being within certain limits that define the range of normal functioning…” (2007) 

Learning Difficulties is a term used indicating intellectual impairment. The name ‘learning difficulty’ replaced the term mental handicap; this was a way of referring to individuals with intellectual impairments (Pierson & Thomas, 2002). The name ‘learning difficulties’ signify that individuals would like to and are able to learn, even though it indicate there are those that excel more than others (Chappell A.L, et al 2001).

In the UK People with Learning Difficulties are being moved out of long-stay hospitals as a result of targets both the 1990 NHS and Community Care Act and the 2001 white paper Valuing People. The government pushed back the target date to 2006 having failed to meet its’ initial target to move all people with Learning Difficulty out of such long-stay hospitals by 2004. Currently, just over two hundred people with Learning Difficulty remain in 10 NHS long-stay hospitals (Community Care 1990).

A number of learning disability adults are users of day centres, which are poorly represented within society, additionally access by peoplewith a learning disabilityto mainstream education, and leisure are limited (Pierson & Thomas, 2002). Therefore, the approach of ‘Normalisation’ and ‘Social Role Valorisation (SRV),’ had an impact on professionals which made a transfer for deinstitutionalisation for individuals with learning disability, which influenced several factors. This highlighted that learning disability adults should be able to live in the community as ‘normal’ individuals do and enjoy the styles of living that are valued in society(Pierson & Thomas, 2002).

A response to this move was that this notion failed to take into account the attitude and practices of others towards those with learning disabilities. It is perceived uncritically that service users should adopt customary norms of behaviour so they could be recognised (Pierson & Thomas, 2002). Normalisation refers to a set of objectives and techniques adopted by provisions for people with learning disabilities. Normalisation objective is to ensure that those with learning disabilities have shared choices, and lifestyle as those who is not disabled (Brown and Smith 1992).However, there have been challenges which entail social acceptability or making sure that the services are meeting the needs of their sexual orientation, gender and ethnicity.

Rather than struggling for normalisation by service users, it was introduced by service providers. Nevertheless, “the principles on community presence, community participation, choice competence and respect”(Pierson & Thomas, 2002 pg 253), that associates with normalisation, has shaped a progressive service settings which support individuals to gain skills, take part in community life and make choices (Pierson & Thomas, 2002).

One have gained personal experience working with learning disability adults in a statutory organisation providing a service for those with, complex needs, and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the borough of Enfield. One supports service users to lead an ordinary independent life by aiding them to leave the institutions whereby they lived, and then support them to live in their own flat within their community. Additionally one supports the users to be integrated in their community, and support them to carry out every day activities. By doing this, one is enabling and aiding the service users to have a ‘normal’ life so they can value.

At times some of the project neighbours of the service users have been discriminative by being oppressive towards the users by making complaints to staff saying, that the users are mad and should not be living in the community, and should be locked up in institutions. This is because the users may at times become frustrated with certain circumstances and then take their frustrations out in the flat, by banging and screaming. When the neighbours hear this and see this through the user’s window they believe that the users are a danger to the community. They have also threatened to speak to the media to ‘expose’ this perceived threat and danger.

There are several studies which have looked at different community feelings and thoughts to people with learning disabilities, such as Mc-Conkey et al (1993);andSinson (1993). Out of their studies, there have been various patterns of reaction that have surface. A few responses were: hostility towards the thought of individuals with learning disabilities living in the community; additionally a lack of knowledge that there are people with learning disabilities in the community (Myers F, et al 1998).

However, previous studies suggest some community have an eagerness to engage with those with learning disabilities as a value. Studies have showed that theses communities are in Edgerton’s (1967 inMyers F, et al 1998) words as `benefactors’, and in Atkinson’s (1986in Myers F, et al 1998) view as ‘competent others’. However, the community could incorporate the people whom, in Taylor and Bogdan’s (1989,in Myers F, et al 1998) phrase, engage in `accepting relationships’ and Lutfiyya (1991 inMyers F, et al 19981) notion was that of making friends. These positive thoughts are the aims and objectives of the theory of person centred approach which was developed by Karl Rogers.Person Centred is aboutfinding ways of listening to service users to find out what is most important to them and what they want from their lives. The next step is to enable and empower the users to achieve this, which is apart of social work values.

There are a number of significant factors above which are associated with the medical and social model in relation to the social care of people with particular support needs. The social model and medical was introduced to explain and comprehend disability and its functioning. Both models underline issues of power, exclusion and oppression. The point of the medical model is anti-diversity and essentialised as it considers disabled people to be abnormal. Additionally, the medical model only affords expertise to the medical professionals(Williams V, & Heslop P. 2005).

“According to the medical model of disability, disability is a ‘natural’ problem of the person, directly caused by the person’s mental or physical impairments” (Ho 2004 pg 88). The management of the disability is designed to change and adjust the individual’s behaviour. Medical care is deemed as the primary concern. Challengers dispute that the medical model perceives that those diagnosed with learning disabilities are abnormal and naturally inferior to those that do not have such diagnosis. In the case of a child who is at school, the medical model of disability is incompetent when attempting to “explain the experience of children with learning difficulties or promoting equal educational opportunities for all children” (Ho 2004 pg 88). The medical model focuses on the biophysical abnormality and does take into consideration the experience that those with impairments may differ depending on their culture and social structure. 

Although diagnosis for those with learning disability can offer a range of benefits and legal protections, there are particular reasons why those with a disability can defy the label ‘learning disabilities’. One reason being that “not everyone appreciates learning disabilities or takes these diagnoses as morally neutral. Given the historical oppression on disabled people, some may not want to think of or label their child or themselves as being disabled”(Ho 2004 pg 87)

Michel Foucault a seminal social constructionist writer, notion on the medical model was that medicine as a practice and profession constructs its own objects of inquiry and looks for ways for people to fit the expected norms. However, the application of medicine to disability and normal/abnormal labels that occur in society are mutually constitutive. Therefore, the medical model is complicit with society definitions of normality. And this complicity has little ethical concern with the quality and value of disabled people’s lives given that they are pre-judged as abnormal (Foucault, 1973).

Goffman (1963) developed what is known as Goffman’s Stigma Theory. In this society’s attention are focussed on the attribute of a disabled individual that is seen to be inferior. This particular attribute is assigned a ‘master status’ and the resulting label (disabled) dominates all other possible characteristics. The need of society for people to have an acceptable image creates problems for the disabled as in many cases the disability ‘leaks out’. For example, one of the autistic service users within the project (which was mentioned above) shouts and bangs at times, and makes unfamiliar funny noises, or another service user who have an unusual walk. Goffman argued that medicine is interested in controlling or covering up the abnormal, i.e. the project neighbours appears to want to have a perfect neighbourhood, in their perceptions is ‘normal’, without engaging in abnormality, within their community.

A challenge to the medical model has always been the public’s increasing lay knowledge of science and health and the increasing popularity of complementary and alternative medicines. The new community-based approach to working with people with learning disabilities shows signs of this widened scope of understanding in that it takes a more holistic view of the lives of learning disabilities people. Indeed in the grey area of Autism (which in itself is not a LD) there are many families who have sought treatments and forms of care and support that are not wholly supported by medicine at all i.e. The Lovas approach – Son Rise, or that disregard the focus on the body in order to focus on the individual cognitive functioning for example the TEACCH and ABA programme. Is there a reference for this please?

However, the social model surfaced because the cause of those with physical and sensory impairments. The model differentiates between impairment and disability.The social model can compare with usual customs of comprehending disability which find the problem of disability in an impaired person. It perceives problems as inevitable consequences of impairment. Therefore, those who are disabled are perceived to need: 

“a multitude of professionals and services to enable them to come to terms with their impairments, rehabilitate them into non-disabled society or remove them from it (if they cannot be ‘cured’)” (Chappell A.L, et al 2001 pg 46). 

Those without the label will not get the service which is required, this is associated with what Webber say to social processes………………………………Unsure how to explain further. 

The social model stresses the importance of collective action. There are emphases made for individuals and societal members to disintegrate disablement, and advocate for an active and inclusive culture. 

“The social model should promise much for people with learningdifficulties in terms of its analysis of their experience and its strategies for change. However, this promise has not been realized” (Chappell A.L, et al 2001 pg 46).

The challenge to the model is to ensure that supporters, professionals, and those with and without learning difficulties, identify the significance of the social model to disabled people, additionally, the factors which should articulated.

Those who have a label are officially protected by various disability mandates; however, there are still various negative social and political connotations that connect to the label. This is due to society creating a ‘normal’ group and then labelling those who are ‘deviant’ (Ho 2004). Although the disability term approved individuals to arrange together with others through the self-advocacy movement and bureaucracy, the  conception of ‘learning difficulties’ and ‘learning disabilities’ are diverse (Goodley, 2001). Certain individuals may at times feel that by having a disability label they are different and can be frequently “understood to be inferior and not fit to be part of the ‘normal’ population (Ho 2004 pg 87). This can be seen as a social problem which can be linked to social justice or social order.How? Make it clear.

WithinBritain the Disability Discrimination Act(1995)identifies disability utilising the medical model. However, it the responsibility of managers as well as service providers to ensure that there are equitable adjustments to their policies, practices, and physical aspects of their premises, which pursue the social model. As a result of adjustments being made, employers and service providers are ensuring that barriers are eliminated, which according to the social model, are effectively eradicate, an individual disability (Chappell A.L, et al). 

Consequently, although particular mandates are complied with by various organisations in making employment decisions, the legislations around disabilities within certain countries that have been developed to protect those who are disabled from discrimination, have not tackled certain discriminatory attitude and responses universally (Ho 2004).Such as what? Make it clear.

“Until about a century and a half ago, justice was standardly understood as a virtue not of societies but of individuals” (Barry 2005, pg4). In the 1940s, the contemporary perception of social justice surface out from the throes of early industrialisation in the UK and France. The radical notion of the idea of social justice was that the justice of the core of society establishments may be challenged.

When linking a social justice theory to the remit of normalisation it is important there is a right theory of social justice. The phrase ‘the machinery of social justice’ came from a Commission on a Social Justice paper by David Donnison. Donninson claimed that “the working parts of the injustice machine are different patterns or dimensions of injustice, each of which has many causes” (Barry 2005 pg 14). Thus the effect of the interdependence amid the impact of social injustice is “none of [these patterns or dimensions of injustice] can be reversed if it is tackled in isolation from the others” (Barry 2005 pg 14).

If the question was asked, what is the subject of social justice? There would be influential answers, found in studies by John Rawls who described it in ‘A Theory of Justice’, as a basic structure of society. The basic structure can be represented by the major institutions which allocate rights, opportunities and resources (Barry 2005).

Institutions which play an important part in providing individuals with different life chances are significant to understanding what social justice is. To an extent, they have vital factors that can transform passing laws. Institutions are not an end in themselves; they are a way of getting things done. In order to know how far a society’s institutions collaborate in unity to generate social justice, there must be considerations on “the distribution of individual rights, opportunities and resources” (Barry 2005 pg 17) that the institutions bring.

There are requirements for social justice to be ‘just’, but this can be resulted to incompetence of liberal justice. “…The foundation of the liberal conception of justice is that all citizens should be treated equally” (Barry 2005 pg 23). However, a number of learning difficulties adults who live within communities are treated as second class citizens because of their label, and impairment of understanding additionally; they are not seen as ‘normal’. Furthermore, because of oppression on those with learning disabilities, at times individuals are unable to access their rights in particular circumstances, i.e. obtaining a job. Karl Marx was one of many who saw the importance of individuals having opportunities and individual rights…….Marx discussed class and capitalist………….Webber rejected Marx perception on capitalist…..Webber ideologies was on class structure. There were internal contradictions on a class structure…through having social ranking and social class, there are inequality of justice and order…….Unsure how to further explainI don’t think you should get lost in this one, maybe just a simple nod to Weber will do it. You don’t need to get into major explanations of Marx/Weberian differences economic-political structures. 

Within the media, those with a learning disability are scarcely featured on television, radio or in newspapers. There are several companies investigating how those with a learning disability are seen in the media. Recently various papers such as the London EveningStandard and the Guardian all displayed people with learning disabilities positively. Films such as Afterlife and Fleshand Blood, and Radio 4’s live programme, ‘Does He Take Sugar?’ Have featured actors with a learning disabilityHowever,Media groups recognise that they need to do more for people with a learning disability, nevertheless changes have been slow.(

Since learning disabilities people were brought out of long-stay hospitals and into the community and particular things have changed and person-centred planning has been adopted as a tool of practice, there is a more mutual relationship between a learning disability person and the professional where both are afforded some expertise. Social workers now act as their care managers rather than psychiatrists and nurses. There is a different balance of power as social workers don’t have the all-controlling power of doctors. Some have regarded this as a ‘therapeutic alliance’ between the social worker and service user. They have to collaborate together to be successful. Additionally, it is important that social workers enable that there is equality and justice when working with learning disability people.

In conclusion, theMedia can be a powerful tool in breaking down stereotypes and oppression faced by those with learning difficulties,as the media voice can inform society of the social problemshelping to change people’s ideas via using pictures of people with learning disabilities which show what they can do, such as having a job or volunteering.

It is important for all social workers to be careful in what they may identify as what is normal. What one may think is normal; another person may perceive as abnormal, therefore, it is vital that social workers work fairly enabling people to have respect for whoever the service users are.

In order for the social justice and social order inequalities not to exist, it is important for people with learning disabilities to have entitlement, first class citizenship, autonomy, and have rights. The political forces need to require and bring about changes which would be needed to carry over to advance justice in other ways.


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