‘Just do it!’ Social work, ethics and resistance. Dr Iain Ferguson Morag Faulds Memorial Lecture University of the West of Scotland 21 st June 2011. Jean-Paul Sartre 1905 -1980. From Existentialism to Marxism: the Power of Circumstances.
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Dr Iain Ferguson
Morag Faulds Memorial Lecture
University of the West of Scotland
21st June 2011
‘A simple formula would be to say that my life taught me la force des choses – the power of circumstances’ (Sartre, 1969)
‘ This is the limit I would today accord to freedom: the small movement which makes of a totally conditioned social being someone who does not render back completely what his conditioning has given him’ (Sartre, 1969)
‘Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already given and transmitted from the past’ (Marx, 1851)
‘We live in a performance framework where outcomes have to be seen to be measured. I think we all know that outcomes are really very, very difficult to measure but nevertheless they are measured, a lot of them are measured in such meaningless ways’
Frontline manager in a generic team
'The managers control day-to-day practice, which is just chasing numbers and chasing targets'.
Social worker in children's services
Rethinking Ethics and Politics:
‘Ethics and politics are not separate spheres but different viewpoints on the same subject – the former investigating such matters as needs, desires, qualities and values, the latter examining the conventions, forms of power, institutions and social relations within which alone such things are intelligible. It is for this reason that Aristotle regards ethics as a sub-branch of politics ‘(Eagleton, 2009: 316).