Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Social work in extremisLessons for social work internationally$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Lavalette and Vasilios Ioakimidis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427182

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427182.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Worker's eye view of neoliberalism and Hurricane Katrina

Worker's eye view of neoliberalism and Hurricane Katrina

(p.143) ten Worker's eye view of neoliberalism and Hurricane Katrina
Social work in extremis

Marla S. McCulloch

Policy Press

The profound physical destruction of Hurricane Katrina (and subsequent Hurricane Rita) was compounded by social and political problems already firmly entrenched before the storms hit. The disaster was a product not only of physical forces, but of neoliberal ideology as well. The author of this chapter was one of the more than 230,000 volunteers with the American Red Cross who responded during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, dispatched as a Disaster Mental Health worker in the Central Louisiana region. However, the system of social and health services had temporarily stopped functioning. None of the hospitals or ambulance services would take psychiatric patients. Local mental health as well as Child and Adult Protective Services would not respond. While an abundance of blame emerged after the disaster — from historically racist power structures to incompetent federal administration to the de-funding of critical services — they were all merely symptoms of a destructive ideological shift to neoliberalism. It was out of this neoliberal ideology that an alternative form of social work reasserted itself.

Keywords:   Louisiana, neoliberalism, Hurricane Katrina, social work, social services, health services

Policy Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.