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Critical Interventions In Welfare: Theory, Practice, Experience

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Time: 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: Room 1007, John Galsworthy Building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
Price: free

Critical Interventions In Welfare: Theory, Practice, Experience

Please join us as we ask, what does it mean to do welfare practice and be a welfare practitioner today? How can everyday practice and experience be used to think critically about welfare practice? What is the contribution of psychosocial, psychoanalytic, critical race and critical feminist scholarship? How can theory support everyday experience and interventions with welfare users, colleagues, organisations and institutions?

This is an opportunity to think about the theory and practice of anti-racist, emancipatory and progressive welfare in discussion with two guests who generously offer their time and guidance:

Amanpreet Ahluwahlia

  • Community Development Practitioner and Peer Researcher
  • Author of: Karma Chameleons, Power and Privilege: Can Relationality Advance Our Understandings of White Anti-Racism?

Amanpreet has committed her working life to developing an understanding of critically engaged practice, which values difference and is able to navigate intersecting privileges and disadvantages. With over 12 years of experience of working nationally and internationally as a Community Development practitioner, and now working as a peer researcher, she is concerned with how to drive (intelligent) social action and develop tools which propel forward a reflective, context-specific and consistently developing and self-aware praxis. Aman's research interests began with a desire to better understand the micro-processes involved in the replication and reproduction of inequalities amongst practitioners who self-identified as committed to anti-oppressive practice. To explore the life-long, continuing, dynamic and sometimes contradictory journey that characterises the life of a practitioner, Aman has drawn on psychoanalytic, Black feminist thought, critical whiteness studies, the sociology of emotion and critical social policy scholarship. Her praxis continues to complicate coherent understandings of practice life; particularly in understanding the relationship between the emotional life-world of ‘the self', action and the social relations of power.

Suryia Nayak

  • Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the Salford University School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences
  • Author of: Race, Gender and the Activism of Black Feminist Theory (2015: Routledge)

Black feminist theory, critical, post-modernist and post-colonial theory, psychoanalytic theory are central to Dr Suryia Nayak's scholarship and everyday practice across higher education, clinical and welfare practice fields. With over 20 years of experience of teaching social work within higher education, 30 years of experience working within Rape Crisis and women's liberation movement on issues of sexual violence, race and gender, forced marriage and rape and 30 years of experience of working with issues of women's mental health and racism, Suryia brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to critical approaches to welfare practice.

Critical Interventions in Welfare: Context

In recent years psychosocial scholars, drawing on critical feminist, queer and critical race scholarship have used the relationship between the individual and the social to think about the connections between human experience, social policy, welfare and politics (Hunter 2015, Roseneil 2013). Specific works have contributed to our understanding of what it means to help and support people in practice, who are positioned as both vulnerable and transgressive (Scanlon and Adlam 2008). Those works have enabled a realistic understanding of day-to-day actions, while maintaining a critical analysis of what it means to 'do' help and support in contemporary western contexts in the global north (Hoggett et al 2008). More recently, this is extended through a focus on the racial politics of services, institutional spaces and practice, with a specific emphasis on power relations and white supremacy in national and global contexts, by drawing on Black feminist theory and specifically the work of Audre Lorde (Nayak 2015). What joins those works together is the way that psychosocial and psychoanalytic scholarship seems to enable an approach to practice life that allows for, and welcomes complexity, in order to make sense of the affecting, challenging and sometimes oppressive experiences of what it means to 'do' support, and be on the receiving end of it, in professionalised and organised spaces. This gathering thinks about how psychosocial and psychoanalytic appraoches, informed by critical feminist and critical race scholarship, helps us to unpick ideas about what it means to 'practice' through the bringing together of theory, practice and experience.

Booking is essential to attend this event.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Dr Rachael Dobson


Directions to Room 1007, John Galsworthy Building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE: