Enacting (post)psychological standards in social work: From regimes of visibility to user-driven standards and affective subjectification

Mads Bank*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article contributes to the general theme of standards and subjectivity by developing a governmental strategy for analyzing how different traditions in psychology are used to produce different standards for subjectification and different ontologies in social work practices. The empirical material is taken from a drug treatment center for young people, where professionals have a critical, reflexive awareness about how standards derived from 20th-century psychology subjectify and organize practices. The article analyzes how professionals in these practices draw on postmodern and critical traditions in psychology—in particular narrative, systemic, and solution-focused therapy—in order to develop alternative “post-psychological,” “user-driven,” and “affective” standards. These standards expand the field of intervention by modulating on users’, relatives,’ and professionals’ gazes and affective ways of relating. The article articulates an affirmative critique of how post-psy standards can be used reflexively by professionals in social work practices to empower users and enact a “post-psychological” ontology of becoming.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory and Psychology
Volume26
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)202-222
ISSN0959-3543
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • drug treatment
  • governmentality
  • social work
  • standards
  • youth

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