Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection
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- PublicationAbortion and Reproduction in Ireland: Shame, Nation-building and the Affective Politics of Place(Sage, 2019-07-01)In 2018, Irish citizens voted overwhelmingly to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution to allow for the introduction of a more liberal abortion law. In this article, I develop a retrospective reading of the stubborn persistence of the denial of reproductive rights to women in Ireland over the decades. I argue that the ban’s severity and longevity is rooted in deep-seated, affective attachments that formed part of processes of postcolonial nation-building and relied on shame and the construction of the Irish nation as a particular, gendered place. The article develops the notion of ‘gendered displacement’ to conceptualise abortion travel in the context of the history of women’s coercive confinement, and provides an affective, feminist reading of the interlinkages between place and nationhood. It also draws on three cases—the X, Y and Z cases—to illustrate the centrality of place and women’s occupation of space to the analysis of Ireland’s abortion ban, which should be read in the wider context of the legacy of what I term the ‘affective politics of place’.
584Scopus© Citations 12
- PublicationAcademic freedom and the commercialisation of the universities: a critical ethical analysis(Inter Research, 2015-10-01)
;This paper explores the cultural and organisational dimensions of academic life that lay the foundations for academic freedom. We briefly review the relationship between university autonomy and academic freedom, the relationship between ethics and freedom and the impact of increased commercialisation on scholarly independence, particularly how the increasing casualization of employment limits the freedom of academics to teach critically and publish freely. We examine the geopolitics of knowledge and how the hegemony of Western thinking frames dominant epistemologies and imposes constraints on academic freedom. We also explore the ways in which Cartesian rationalism underpins contemporary understanding of what constitutes valid knowledge, and how this can and does act as a constraint in what we come to know and study, not least in terms of values but also in terms of how caring (affective) relations impact research and teaching. Our paper highlights the silenced doxa in the organisation of the academy, including the impact of care-lessness on women and primary care givers in particular. We examine the social class biases in how higher education is organised, and how class exclusions are themselves constraints on being an academic or a student in a university. Finally, the paper illustrates the importance of distinguishing between the institutional autonomy of the university, the personal and professional freedoms of individual academics, and each of these from subject autonomy, namely the freedom of scholars to create and maintain new disciplinary fields, especially fields of scholarship that are critical and challenging of prevailing academic orthodoxies. 578Scopus© Citations 40
- PublicationAcademic freedom and the commercialisation of universities: a critical ethical analysis(Berghahn Journals, 2015-10-01)
;This paper explores the cultural and organisational dimensions of academic life that lay the foundations for academic freedom. We briefly review the relationship between university autonomy and academic freedom, the relationship between ethics and freedom and the impact of increased commercialisation on scholarly independence, particularly how the increasing casualization of employment limits the freedom of academics to teach critically and publish freely. We examine the geopolitics of knowledge and how the hegemony of Western thinking frames dominant epistemologies and imposes constraints on academic freedom. We also explore the ways in which Cartesian rationalism underpins contemporary understanding of what constitutes valid knowledge, and how this can and does act as a constraint in what we come to know and study, not least in terms of values but also in terms of how caring (affective) relations impact research and teaching. Our paper highlights the silenced doxa in the organisation of the academy, including the impact of care-lessness on women and primary care givers in particular. We examine the social class biases in how higher education is organised, and how class exclusions are themselves constraints on being an academic or a student in a university. Finally, the paper illustrates the importance of distinguishing between the institutional autonomy of the university, the personal and professional freedoms of individual academics, and each of these from subject autonomy, namely the freedom of scholars to create and maintain new disciplinary fields, especially fields of scholarship that are critical and challenging of prevailing academic orthodoxies. 728Scopus© Citations 40
- PublicationAcademic review of practice instruments : national care planning project(HSE and the National Care Planning Project, 2006-10)The terms of reference for the academic review included consideration both of the practice instruments developed for the NCCP against national and international best practice and research, and addressed questions on their impact on outcomes of child placement. This review takes a wide view in appraising the practice instruments, focusing on contextual as well as clinical applications, as referenced in the NCPP goals. However, it does not attempt to cover general ground already well reported in other evaluation processes. It does draw on specific commentary on the practice instruments in use during the interim and final evaluations.
- PublicationActive survival in the lives of unaccompanied minors: coping strategies, resilience, and the relevance of religion(Blackwell Publishing, 2010-01)
;Asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors contend with numerous challenges as they adjust to living in a new country. Although increasing attention has been paid to their capacity for resilience, little research has been done on the exact manner in which they cope. This paper describes some of the insights gleaned from a qualitative study undertaken with unaccompanied minors living in Ireland. Six different coping strategies are identified, namely: (1) Maintaining continuity in a changed context, (2) Adjusting by learning and changing, (3) Adopting a positive outlook, (4) Suppressing emotions and seeking distraction, (5) Acting independently, and (6) Distrusting. These are described in turn. Particular attention is paid to the role of religion in relation to the participants' coping strategies. 3554Scopus© Citations 113
- PublicationAdapted Culturagram(2019-07-29)• The culturagram was developed by Congress ‘in response to cultural diversity among families and the need for ethnic-sensitive practice’ (Congress, 1994:531). • It is a family assessment tool which allows social workers “to assess the impact of culture on the family, individualize ethnically similar families, be more empathic with regard to cultural differences and empower the culturally diverse” (Congress, 1994: 531) • It has been adapted here by Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, based primarily on her practice and research with unaccompanied refugee children. • The adapted version seeks not only to assess the impact of culture but also to place emphasis on the impact of the migration experience.
- PublicationThe Addicted Self: A Neuroscientific Perspective(Palgrave Macmillan, 2012-11)
- PublicationAddressing the Justice Gap: Sexual Violence and Restorative Justice(2022-03-10)This presentation involved the screening of a film on restorative justice, 'The Meeting' www.themeetingfilm.ie; a presentation locating the film in the context of sexual crime, criminal justice and restorative justice, and a Panel Discussion.
- PublicationAdopt an open approach to historic secret : Irish-American child legacy needs state help to unravel(The Sunday Times, 2013-11-17)Following the release of the film 'Philomena', the light has been shown on the untold stories of Irish American intercountry adoption. As the year of the gathering 2013 draws to a close, the people involved should be help to have their own gathering. This will not be achieved by many unless urgent goverment and religious organisation action is provided to help people in families seperated through adoption to find one another.
- PublicationAdoption and the Irish Care System: Context and Drivers for Change?(Round Hall, 2015-09)
;Long-term foster care ("LTFC") is the predominant permanent option for children who are likely to remain in care in Ireland. The Adoption Bill 2012 (the "2012 Bill"), published at the time of the holding of the Children's Referendum but not progressed since, seeks to ease existing legal restrictions in respect of adoption of children living in foster care. Against a backdrop of overall adoption trends in Ireland, this paper explores the 2012 Bill. It unpacks the concept of "permanency", discusses the incentives and disincentives involved in moving between foster care and adoption, and identifies key questions needed to shape the debate. How the passing of the Children's Referendum and its revision of the Constitution play out in the Irish legislature and court system remain to be determined. 97
- PublicationAdoption as Part of the Irish Care System: A New Challenge for Social Work(Irish Association of Social Workers, 2016-03-01)
;Placing adoption as an adjunct to the care system will have many implications for current service delivery and especially for social work practice. Not only is it likely to change the nature of care planning, foster and adoptive parent assessment and social work involvement in judicial processes, but it also has implications for the profession’s relationship with adoption. This seismic shift requires keen deliberation at a policy and practice level if best outcomes for some of the most vulnerable children in Irish society are to be realized. The debate needs to include those individuals affected by and responsible for legislative change, policy formation and best practice and its implementation (O’Brien and Palmer, 2015). This paper sets out to explore a number of the issues involved. 218
- PublicationAdult Safeguarding Legislation and Policy Rapid Realist Literature Review(Health Services Executive, 2017-05)
; ; ; ; ;The investigation of, and intervention into the alleged abuse of older people has become a dominant feature of social work in Ireland. The international definition of elder mistreatment adopted in most western countries including Ireland, is: ‘Elder abuse is a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm to an older person’ (WHO, 2008; WHO/INPEA, 2002). Operationalising this abstract definition is to describe types or categories of abuse that older people can be subjected to - physical, sexual, psychological, financial and neglect. Although valuable, the limitations of these narrow and mutually exclusive categories are increasingly recognised (Anand et al., 2013; O’Brien et al., 2011; Naughton et al., 2012). There is a major lack of understanding of the voice and experiences of older people in relation to abuse (Anand et al., 2013; Charpentier and Souliéres, 2013; WHO, 2002b). Irish research has demonstrated that older people conceptualise elder abuse as the loss of voice and agency, diminishing status in society, violation of rights and wider societal influences that undermine a sense of individualism and ‘personhood’ (O’Brien et al., 2011; Naughton et al., 2013). 1278
- PublicationAffect and the history of women, gender and masculinity(Irish Academic Press, 2009)This article begins with looking at the disciplines of literary studies and history to discuss how they are distinct yet share a certain overlapping ground. Literary studies’ focus on the subject matter of affect and historians’ focus on verifying facts are rudimentary distinctions between the fields but despite the differences in method and perspective between these disciplines, the boundaries of feminist history and feminist literary studies have intersected to create a shared territory for the field of the history of women, in which the examination of affect is a crucial focus. Romantic passion between women still remains a problematic topic for women’s history but is a fertile area of study in gender history. The article looks at the relatively recent academic endeavour of historicising masculinity, and on the new work, which focuses on understanding the expression and status of emotion in male bonding. The argument is made that these historians of masculinity follow in the footsteps of feminist historical studies of affect and feminist gender history. The essay closes with thought on how this focus on historicising affect, specifically love, commitment, friendship and desire for intimacy has reverberations in contemporary society.
- PublicationAffective and calculative solidarity: the impact of individualism and neoliberal capitalism(Sage, 2018-07-25)
;This article examines the ways in which the self-responsibilized individualism underpinning contemporary concepts of the ideal European citizen, on the one hand (Frericks, 2014), and the inequalities and anti-democratic politics that characterize contemporary neoliberal capitalism, on the other, are co-constituent elements in creating an antipathy to forms of solidarity that are affective as opposed to calculative. The active citizenship framework lacks a full appreciation of the interdependency of the human condition and is antithetical to universalistic, affectively-led forms of solidarity. The deep relationality that is endemic to both social production and reproduction, and that impels an affective, morally-led form of solidarity needs to be recognized academically and intellectually, and politically sustained, if we are to move beyond a narrow, calculative, self-interested vision of solidarity in Europe. 996Scopus© Citations 18
- PublicationAffective equality : love, care and solidarity as productive forces(Institute of Thematic Gender Studies, LiU-ÖU; Center for Feminist Social Studies (CFS), 2010-05)
- PublicationAffective equality : who cares?(Palgrave McMillan, 2009-09)Human beings are not just economic actors, devoid of relationality; rather, they are interdependent and dependent with a deep capacity for moral feeling and attaching. The presumption that people are mere units of labour, movable from one country to another as production requires, is therefore an institutionalised form of affective injustice. As love, care and solidarity involve work, affective inequalities also occur when the burdens and benefits of these forms of work are unequally distributed. Affective inequality is an acutely gendered problem given the moral imperative on women to care, and an acute problem for all of humanity given that vulnerability and inter/dependency is endemic to the human condition.
1228Scopus© Citations 19
- PublicationAffective Equality: Love Matters(Wiley, 2017-10)
;The nurturing that produces love, care, and solidarity constitutes a discrete social system of affective relations. Affective relations are not social derivatives, subordinate to economic, political, or cultural relations in matters of social justice. Rather, they are productive, materialist human relations that constitute people mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially. As love laboring is highly gendered, and is a form of work that is both inalienable and noncommodifiable, affective relations are therefore sites of political import for social justice. We argue that it is impossible to have gender justice without relational justice in loving and caring. Moreover, if love is to thrive as a valued social practice, public policies need to be directed by norms of love, care, and solidarity rather than norms of capital accumulation. To promote equality in the affective domains of loving and caring, we argue for a four-dimensional rather than a three-dimensional model of social justice as proposed by Nancy Fraser (2008). Such a model would align relational justice, especially in love laboring, with the equalization of resources, respect, and representation. 496Scopus© Citations 28
- PublicationAffective inequalities : challenging (re)distributive, recognition and representational models of social justice(2010-07)This paper examines the significance of care relations for the pursuit of equality and social justice in society. It highlights the importance of affective equality for producing a society governed by principles of deep egalitarianism and equality of condition. This paper builds on research with my colleagues in Equality Studies on the theory of equality (Baker, Lynch, Cantillon and Walsh, 2004, 2009) and on the subject of affective equality in particular (Lynch, Baker and Lyons, 2009). It begins by acknowledging the role of feminist scholars in opening up the affective domain to research. It then briefly defines affective equality and inequality going on to outline the core assumptions underpinning affective egalitarian thinking. From there, it explores the neglect of affective relations in egalitarian theory and outlines a new framework for egalitarian thinking, one that takes account of affective relations and highlights their inter-relationship with other social systems. This is followed by a discussion of the implications of relationality at the heart of affective equality and a short comment on the links between affective relations, ethics and politics. The paper concludes with some comments on why social scientific and political thought needs to change to take account of the affective and the normative in social life.
- PublicationThe age of precarity and the new challenges to the academic profession(Babes Bolyai, 2015-04)Neoliberalism has had destructive effects on the academic profession. While full-time academic employment has always been a privilege for a few, the academic precariat has risen as a reserve army of workers with ever shorter, lower paid, hyper-flexible contracts and ever more temporally fragmented and geographically displaced hyper-mobile lives. Under the pressure to ¿publish or perish¿ a growing stratification between research and teaching has emerged. It has made academic work more susceptible to market pressures, and less - to public accountability. Focusing on a recent call for 'casual researchers' issued by Oxford University the paper indicates how the growing competition for scarcer resources has made academics finally aware of the inequalities engendered by neoliberal capitalism, but still incapable to mobilize.
- PublicationAge Related Inequalities and Covid19(2020-09-23)Invited speaker to Social Work in the Community first webinar on Covid and Inequality, Collaboration between Department of Health(NI) and University of Ulster.