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What it is not
It is difficult to explain this social fieldwork without relying on comparison to what it is not.
It is not a new diet!
It is not fluffy self help talk.
It is not about government programs.
It is not about single payer or social security or welfare or medicaid even.
It is not about social media
Contrary to what many professionals in positions of public trust may think, web 2.0 and online media not community engagement. It is not community building other than to perpetuate a one way stream of information and an incoherent stream of information scattered across a range of thumbs up and cordial hearts.
It is not social work.
It is not public health.
It is not part of patch work remedies for helping each other due to the failed political economic construct. It is not working with individuals experiencing conflicts with legal system or educational system or needing financial assistance for chronic conditions. Because of the loss of natural resilience and connection (the loss of our understanding of all our relations), social work is everyone’s best intentions at filling the gap of all the beauty of human connectedness that has been lost with industrialization.
It is not the topical fluff of surveys, townhalls and openhouse meetings.
We have instead relied on opinion polls, surveys, open houses, town meetings and a range of other superficial devices for doing the work of democracy for public decision making.
DIAGRAM: venn diagram: an online community and a real community