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SOCWORK 1A06 (162)

Social Work , classism and poverty.doc

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Social Work
Stephanie Ross

Classism and Poverty The Truth About Classism Understanding PovertyCapitalismWhat is capitalism An economy is capitalist when 1Most of the production of goods and services is done by privately owned companies where they profit from their production 2Most work is performed by people who sell their labour to someone in exchange for moneywage labour Trends evident in a capitalist economycompetition between private companies over where to sell and the profits earned goal is innovation and growth results in inequality and inherently produces conflict between those who work for wages and those who employ them see Karl Marxs work for further infocharacterized by rollercoasteresk cycles of stagnation austerity then growth spikes Key points from Jim Stanfords writingWhat we call the economy went through many stages en route to capitalismDifferent kinds of economies exist We shouldnt understand the economy and capitalism as identical By pretending that capitalism is just a system of markets economists deliberately blur the real power relationships and violent historical processes of the economy in which we live Why should social workers understand capitalismFor many reasons oOne is that we are workers we exchange our labour for money we are dependent on the decisions of our employer our employers still seek to extract maximum work effort for minimum compensationand so our lives are shaped by this relationship of capitalism oAlso because the inherent inequalities of capitalism shape the lives of our service users most often extremely negatively see notes on poverty below oBecause capitalism is the underpinning context of our workwe cant escape it without radical transformation 1
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