Social Services and their educational mandate in the modern nation state
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This chapter examines the role played by public and non-public social services in terms of the need of industrial societies to balance social integration with individual freedom and entrepreneurial spirit. It has long been recognised that the act of ‘helping’ needs to be associated with a ‘learner-oriented’ pedagogical agenda in order to avoid the creation of dependence and passivity. The extent to which the aims of this concept of intervention are prescribed by either professional or political ‘regimes’ or arrived at in democratic ways is highly contentious. The history of the development of various models of social welfare and of corresponding paradigms of social intervention shows that professional decisions are always taken in a political context. The aim of responsible social work methods must therefore be to foster a political, and not just a psychological sense of belonging in terms of participative social citizenship. This requires a corresponding understanding of socialisation and socio-pedagogical processes which are based on principles of social learning, combining personal autonomy with social responsibility.