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Social work in extremisLessons for social work internationally$
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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

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Social work in extremis – some general conclusions

Social work in extremis – some general conclusions

(p.167) Conclusion Social work in extremis – some general conclusions
Social work in extremis

Vasilios Ioakimidis

Policy Press

This book's completion coincided with the worsening of the financial crisis in Greece and the response it generated from both the governing and working classes. What is particularly interesting about Greece is the reaffirmation of the fact that grassroots and ruling class responses can emerge in parallel, but rarely in consensus. There are a number of themes and issues that arise from the case studies discussed in this book and which offer a ‘glimpse’ of alternative social work practices. First, it is evident that creative and grassroots networks appeared instantly and replaced the role of the authorities. These networks developed organically within the communities and enjoyed the trust of local people. The networks were the catalysts inspiring local populations to explore alternative ways of organising and, more importantly, alternative visions for social change. When communities respond, they start to challenge and redefine existing hierarchies. Another common characteristic in the case studies is the holistic nature of these alternative social welfare practices.

Keywords:   Greece, social work, ruling class, social welfare, social change, grassroots networks

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