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Green Social Work: From Environmental Crises to Environmental Justice

ISBN: 978-0-7456-5401-0
200 pages
July 2012, Polity
Green Social Work: From Environmental Crises to Environmental Justice (0745654010) cover image
Social work is the profession that claims to intervene to enhance people's well-being. However, social workers have played a low-key role in environmental issues that increasingly impact on people's well-being, both locally and globally.

This compelling new contribution confronts this topic head-on, examining environmental issues from a social work perspective. Lena Dominelli draws attention to the important voice of practitioners working on the ground in the aftermath of environmental disasters, whether these are caused by climate change, industrial accidents or human conflict. The author explores the concept of ‘green social work' and its role in using environmental crises to address poverty and other forms of structural inequalities, to obtain more equitable allocations of limited natural resources and to tackle global socio-political forces that have a damaging impact upon the quality of life of poor and marginalized populations at local levels. The resolution of these matters is linked to community initiatives that social workers can engage in to ensure that the quality of life of poor people can be enhanced without costing the Earth.

This important book will appeal to those in the fields of social work, social policy, sociology and human geography. It powerfully reveals how environmental issues are an integral part of social work's remit if it is to retain its currency in the modern world and emphasize its relevance to the social issues that societies have to resolve in the twenty-first century.

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Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. A Professional Crisis within Social and Environmental Calamities
3. Reclaiming Industrialization and Urbanization for People
4. Industrial Pollution, Environmental Degradation and People's Resilience
5. Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Solving Social Problems
6. Environmental Crises, Social Conflict and Mass Migrations
7. Environmental Degradation, Natural Disasters and Marginalization
8. Scarce Natural Resources and Inter-Country Conflict Resolution
9. Interrogating World Views: From Unsustainable to Sustainable Ways of Reframing Peoples' Relationships to Living Environments
10.Conclusions: Green Social Work
Bibliography
Author Index
Subject Index
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Lena Dominelli is Professor of Applied Social Sciences in the School of Applied Social Sciences, and Associate Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Research at Durham University.
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  • Compelling new book that presents a new social work perspective on environmental issues
  • Argues that if social work’s mission is to enhance people’s well-being, then environmental issues have to be dealt with head-on
  • Offers an optimistic solution to enhance the lives of marginalized communities by engaging with environmental issues under the auspices of ‘green social work’
  • Written by a respected and provocative world-leading social work academic
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"A very important and valuable argument for social work's engagement with environmental issues … Hopefully, it will be seen as a step along the path to a truly and deeply transformed social work."
British Journal of Social Work

"A rallying cry for the 're-politicisation' of social work."
Professional Social Work

"This book could not be more timely. The global crisis caused by climate change, environmental degradation, and food and water insecurity has created fertile ground for global inequalities. The role of social work in intersecting between people and policy can ensure that the human rights of the most vulnerable are protected and that socially just solutions are enacted. I applaud Lena Dominelli on her book and see it becoming a seminal social work text."
Margaret Alston, Monash University

"Lena Dominelli has done it yet again with another first in social work education! In Green Social Work, she combines her usual interests in human rights, poverty and inequality, and social justice with that of climate justice. Pragmatic intervention strategies and case studies are provided that make the book a necessary companion for educators, practitioners and students of social work and related disciplines."
Vishanthie Sewpaul, University of KwaZulu Natal

"Green Social Work makes an important contribution to explicating the links between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Lena Dominelli convincingly argues that social workers are key to articulating the social with the environmental, and provides environmentalists with valuable insights into the ways in which societies' more vulnerable people and communities experience social-environmental disadvantage."
Susan Buckingham, Brunel University

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