The Public and the Private, an Exploration of Zakāt and the Islamic Tradition for Contemporary Social Work Values and Practice
Journal: Journal of Czech and Slovak Social Work
OBJECTIVES: The aims of the paper are to subject the ontologies of social welfare in Britain to critical scrutiny, in respect of examining political ideologies of neoliberalism and austerity; and the impact of these upon the value-driven role and remit of professional social work, which has developed as an essential arm of the post-War, British Welfare State.
THEORETICAL BASE: Although the erosion of the Welfare State has been subject to a number of social policy critiques, here the authors offer an alternative understanding of social welfare, as inspired by the Islamic principle of zakāt. METHODS: This paper offers a conceptual, discursive analysis. OUTCOME: Operating as a socio-religio-political concept, zakāt provides a sharply contrasting alternative understanding to social weald, capitalism and the State, serving to reframe prevailing political rationalisations and policy measures as that which are fundamentally harmful to social cohesion in generating rising social need.
SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Growing social need, artificially inflated through political ideology, carries ruinous implications for social work provision in terms of State (un)accountability for social welfare and overtly politicised social work mandates.