Is ’empowerment’ empowering?

‘Empowerment’ is a term in widespread use today and one that is often considered to be a self-evident good. In this talk Ken McLaughlin will explore its emergence in the 1960s through to its rise in the 1990s and ubiquity in present day discourse in education, social work and health and social care discourse. He will examine how it constructs and positions those being empowered and those empowering and will argue that a focus on empowerment has superseded the notion of political subjects exercising power autonomously.

Date and time: Tuesday 26 April at 7 PM

Venue: The Hallmark Midland Hotel, Derby

Tickets: £5 waged / £3 unwaged available on Eventbrite or at the door.

About Ken

Dr Ken McLaughlin is a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University where he teaches modules on sociology, social policy, social movements and social work. Prior to this he worked as a social worker in social services mental health team and as a support worker with homeless families. His research is concerned with the way wider social and political concerns are reflected within social policy in general and social work in particular. He is the author of three books: Empowerment: A critique, Surviving Identity: Vulnerability and the Psychology of Recognition and Social Work, Politics and Society: From Radicalism to Orthodoxy