Social workers are increasingly dealing with clients who do not have the “right to have rights” (Hannah Arendt). Especially in these cases skills of methods for social change - such as Lobbying, media interventions, social advertising and campaigning are required to insure that issues of vulnerable groups can be challenged on a structural level, but also made visible in public debates. A critical and research-based presence of social work issues in the public field requires “classical” public relations skills, but also new forms of public interventions such as so-called guerrilla activities or the use of social media and the organization of public and/ or parliamentarian hearings. This module will provide a brief overview and analysis of these methods.
Unfortunately social work practice in the past has also contributed to very discriminatory public portrayal of certain vulnerable groups, leading to an instrumentalization of social work knowledge for political purposes. In order to prevent further “collateral damage” an ethically based decision is required and will be discussed with students in this module.