Recognizing the face of the other: Difference, identity and community
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Social work's role in creating social solidarity requires an engagement with identity politics through careful negotiation of the boundary between the private and the public spheres and hence ensuring a balance between personal freedom to define one's specific identity and the public entitlement to belong to a political community as citizens. Current political and cultural trends, reflected also in social policies, impact severely on that boundary maintenance task inasmuch as privatisation encroaches on formerly public domains while simultaneously details of private concerns receive public attention through their commercialisation by the new media. It is suggested that social work's political role be asserted more explicitly in terms of the application of the Global Agenda which needs to penetrate to the level of person-to-person interaction.