Green social work, political ecology and environmental justice

Authored by: Lena Dominelli

The Routledge Handbook of Critical Social Work

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138578432
eBook ISBN: 9781351264402
Adobe ISBN:


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Green social work (Dominelli, 2012) set itself the task of developing a new paradigm for critical theorists and practitioners in social work by asking them to include environmental justice as an integral part of their existing preoccupations with social justice. Green social work is a holistic approach to practice involving environmental degradation in all its forms and focuses on the impact of social structures and human intentionality in the exploitation of the earth’s resources, social and physical. It emphasises interdependencies between people, plants, animals and planet earth as the site in which life occurs, but which is affected by the activities of those deriving a living from its bounty. In this sense, it centres social justice within a duty to care for and about all living things, animate and inanimate. Acknowledging the interdependent nature of life on this planet encourages those concerned about social justice issues to examine what resources are embedded within a physical environment and how these are used to promote human development – production, reproduction and consumption in the course of meeting everyday human needs.

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