• 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.
    • Social Work Students’ Perceptions of Ageing

      Ridgway, Victoria; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2018-06-23)
      Little is understood about social work students or social workers’ perceptions of ageing in the UK. This paper presents a small-scale study of 20 master social work students’ perceptions of ageing during the first year of their programme. A mixed method approach was employed over a two-staged research project, in both stages the social work students were asked to complete Kogan’s (1961) Attitudes Towards Older People Scale (KATOPS) and draw a person aged 75. Results demonstrated that most students had neutral to positive attitudes towards older people at the beginning of the programme and these improved in stage two; all had positive attitudes. The drawings provided a visual narrative of their perceptions of older people, visual signifiers included physical signs of ageing. Fulfilment, emotion, family, individuality and appearance were emergent themes. Whilst the programme enhanced the students’ perceptions more work is needed to dispel the myths and stereotypes about ageing