• Ageing and China: Towards theory, policy and practice

      Powell, Jason; University of Chester (2015)
      In the 21st Century, economists and social analysts around the globe are increasingly concerned about the rising numbers of older people in their society. There are genuine concerns about the inadequacy of pension funds, of growing pressures on welfare systems, and on the inability of shrinking numbers of younger people to carry the burden of their elders. This article focuses on such gerontological issues in China, where the older people have become a rapidly expanding proportion of the population. While resources do need to be targeted on the vulnerable older people, the presumption that older people as a whole are an economic and social burden must be questioned. This is an ageist view that needs to be combated by locating how bio-medical views on aging seep into policy spaces in China that position negative perceptions of aging as both individual and populational problems. The article then moves to observe the implications of bio-medicine for older people in China in terms of "vulnerable" aging but deconstruct such "fixed" explanations by juxtaposing active aging as key narrative that epitomizes "declining to decline" as espoused by bio-medical sciences.
    • Globalization and scapes: A new theory of global dynamics

      Powell, Jason; University of Chester (2015)
      Globalization has produced a distinctive stage in the social history of populational projections, with a growing tension between nation state-based solutions and anxieties and those formulated by global institutions (Powell, 2011). Globalization, defined here as the process whereby nation-states are influenced (and sometimes undermined) by trans-national actors. Human identity has, itself, become relocated within a trans-national context, with international organisations (such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund) and cross-border migrations, creating new conditions and environments for many displaced people (Estes, Biggs, & Phillipson, 2003). This paper examines the work of Appadurai and the extent to which has had a large impact on understanding the global dynamics of cultural, technological, political and economic change.
    • Governing globalization and justice

      Powell, Jason; University of Chester (2015-02-20)
      This article explicates how 21st Century changes in the form of globalization are of historical scale, how they play out in terms of risks and inequalities shaping human experience, and how they have changed social welfare and public policy making worldwide. After presenting facts of inequality and such consequences as planetary poverty and gender stratification, it highlights the reformulation of economic power associated with burgeoning free-market economies and accompanying diffusion of instrumental rationality, standardization and commodification. In contrast with the recent US economic downturn and global softening of labor markets which cry for greater social protection, the welfare state of the last century has been replaced by a competitive state of the 21st century, as a “non-sovereign power” mindful of its global positioning but less powerful in shaping daily life among social forces including the role of NGOs. Indicating a lag between transnational developments and the way analysts think of social policies, the paper asserts that nation-states nonetheless serve important administrative functions in a world dominated by transnational corporate interests. In considering all the challenges to justice and governance, the authors argue that social welfare needs to be redefined and extended while market economy must be guided by moral principles that embody fundamental human values.
    • The philosophical language of death and power

      Powell, Jason; University of Chester (2015)
      This article is concerned with understanding the relationship of philosophical languages of death with the social philosophy of Michel Foucault. Foucault’s theoretical tools ‘make sense’ of languages of death in institutions such as care homes. While our responses to death and dying would seem to be very personal and therefore individually determined, they are, in fact, greatly influenced by the beliefs of individuals and “experts” who work in institutions providing care. Therefore, this article not only examines the limitations of bio-medicalized languages of death and dying, but importantly emphasises the importance of Foucault’s conceptual tools to methodologically interrogate how death is managed in institutional care.
    • Risk and disability: Towards a reflexive theory

      Powell, Jason; University of Chester (2015)
      This paper analyses the concept of ‘risk’, which both as a theoretical tool and dimension of modern society, is slowly being developed within the humanistic and social sciences (Delanty, 1999). Notwithstanding this, the concept of risk and the meaning and implications associated with it, have not been fully explored in relation to disability. Risk is shrouded in historical and contemporary political debate about whose ‘role’ and ‘responsibility’ is it for ‘disability’ in society – does it reside with the state or the individual?
    • The social philosophical dimensions of hospice care

      Powell, Jason; University of Chester (SciPress Ltd, 2015-05-15)
      Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs (Powell 2014). The concept of hospice has been evolving since the 11th century. Then, and for centuries thereafter, hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded, or dying, as well as those for travellers and pilgrims (Dossey 1999). The modern concept of hospice includes palliative care for the incurably ill given in such institutions as hospitals or nursing homes, but also care provided to those who would rather spend their last months and days of life in their own homes (McCue and Thompson 2006).
    • Social theory and emotion: A philosophical tour

      Powell, Jason; University of Chester (2015)
      This article explores and problematizes the explanatory value behind diverse sociological and philosophical traditions on understanding emotion. In particular, the paper attempts to ‘dig’ into history to reveal macro and micro arguments relating to US and European social theory which have attempt to unravel the contours of the social and experiential construction of emotion. The paper is enriched by an examination of Marx, Durkheim and Marx to an examination of symbolic interactionism to the postmodern question. Such is the diversity of social philosophies, we need a diverse approach to holistically understand emotion in its theoretical context and social processes.
    • Subjection, social work and social theory

      Powell, Jason; Coventry University (2014)
      Reflecting on Judith Butler‟s conception of „performativity‟, this paper argues that the notion has important implications for contemporary debates over agency, subjection and „resistance‟ in social work. Using, wider social theory drawn from post-structuralist Butler, makes sense of complex professional-service user relations. The article explores the possibilities and problems for resisting dominant power relationships in micro and meso settings.