Building on Habermas’s conceptualisation of modes of reasoning, the authors proposed that an application of critical theory to the present bureaucratised nature of communication between state representatives and welfare recipients (Howe 1992) might open up ways in which social workers could reconceptualise their practice. In a subsequent edition of this journal, three of the present authors introduced the radical theatre of Augusto Boal as a methodology which might provide an expressive route for social workers seeking to build a practice combining the intellectual analysis of critical theory with new ways of working (Spratt et al. 2000). Boal’s method recognises the oppressed status of groups who come to the attention of agents of the state and, through the use of a range of theatrical techniques, introduces strategies to facilitate the conscious recognition of such collective oppressions and develop dialogical ways to address them. In the last paper, the authors presented one such technique, ‘image theatre’, and demonstrated its use with social workers in consciousness raising and developing strategies for collective action.
Houston, S., Magill, T., MaCollum, M., & Spratt, T. (2001). Developing Creative Solutions to the Problems of Children and their Families: Communicative Reason and the use fo Forum Theatre. Child and Family Social Work, 6, 258-294. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2206.2001.0219