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‘Lifeworld’, ‘System’ and Family Group Conferences: Habermas

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:32 am
by Sean Haresnape, FRG
LETS get theoretical||
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http://m.bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/conten ... 7.abstract
ABSTRACT
Habermas’s critical social theory has been challenged on a range of fronts. However, the authors see merit in his mediation thesis as set out in the seminal text, Between Facts and Norms (1996). Adopting a pragmatist defence of the thesis, we review and demonstrate the effectiveness of what we believe is a coincidental expression of some of its main tenets—The Family Group Conference in Child Protection. Drawing further on Habermas’s work, we then proceed to re-work aspects of the conference’s core processes, thereby accentuating the possibility of empowering dialogue between its key participants: the families (who embody the ‘lifeworld’) and the social work professionals (who represent the ‘system’). In the final section, we argue that moral practice in child protection must be safeguarded by communicational procedures that explicitly address issues relating to the use of power and the need for ‘recognition’ between subjects.