Avishai Margalit’s concept of decency: Potential for the lived experience project in social work?

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2 Citations (Scopus)


In The Decent Society, Israeli philosopher Avishai Margalit provides a compelling indictment of the privacy-impinging, bureaucratic functions of the welfare state that humiliate dependent citizens, contributing, alongside other institutions, to the emergence of an indecent society. This chapter takes Margalit’s concept of an indecent society as a starting point to critique the Lived Experience Project in social work education. The Global Standards for the Education and Training of the Social Work Profession, released by the International Federation of Social Workers in 2012, refer to the involvement of service users in the design and delivery of academic and field education topics as well as in the selection of students. The chapter looks at aspects of the Lived Experience Project in relation to people with disability and the positioning of their needs in all aspects of welfare, including social work education. Drawing on insights from the disability rights movement, the chapter offers an alternative to the narrative of neediness that is elicited in an uncritical approach to using clients in social work education.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Critical Pedagogies for Social Work
EditorsChristine Morley, Phillip Ablett, Carolyn Noble, Stephen Cowden
Place of PublicationOxon, UK
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351002042
ISBN (Print)9781138545748
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • social work education
  • welfare state
  • disability rights movement
  • Lived Experience Project


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