• The neoliberal university, social work and personalised care for older adults

      Carey, Malcolm; University of Chester
      This article critically examines the impact of the neoliberal university upon social work education and practice relating to older people. It appraises market-led pedagogical reforms, including of the training of social workers who go on to work with older adults, such in support of policies including personalisation. Influence is drawn from the work of Nancy Fraser (2019): specifically, her understanding of ‘progressive neoliberalism’, or the improbable fusion of free market ideals with the politics of recognition to create a rejuvenated hegemonic bloc. This theoretical framework is utilized to analyse the prevalence of emancipatory constructs such as empowerment, participation, anti-oppression, equality, choice and independence within acutely underfunded, bureaucratic, and risk-averse fields of social care and social work. While benefiting some older ‘service users’, it is argued that personalisation policy regularly disadvantages or excludes older people within fragmented adult social care sectors. Progressive neoliberalism has helped to promote policies which envisage participative self-care whilst more often excluding or objectifying older adults, especially those with higher level needs.