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What are the main ‘hegemonic’ forces which are dominant in terms of the ‘transformation’ of children’s and related services in your national setting? How have these forces achieved the position of dominance? How is it maintained? In your work, can you identifying particular recurring or emerging patterns of ‘precariousness’ or ‘precaricity’? How does incarceration and imprisonment impact on the work of those in Children’s Services? What are the keywords – or ‘welfare words’ – around which the ‘change agenda’ is being organized?

Thus, ‘particular words and expressions often become focal . . functioning as keywords, sites at which the meaning of social experience is negotiated and contested. Keywords typically carry unspoken assumptions and connotations that can powerfully influence the discourses they permeate’. This interpretation – entirely in tune with Gramsci’s approach – leads, therefore, to their attempt to develop a ‘critical political semantics’ (Fraser and Gordon 1997: 123): a practice rooted in a project to ‘defamiliarize taken-for-granted beliefs in order to render them susceptible to critique and to illuminate present-day conflicts’ (Fraser and Gordon 1997: 122).

Keywords typically carry unspoken assumptions and connotations that can powerfully influence the discourses they permeate’. This interpretation – entirely in tune with Gramsci’s approach – leads, therefore, to their attempt to develop a ‘critical political semantics’ (Fraser and Gordon 1997: 123): a practice rooted in a project to ‘defamiliarize taken-for-granted beliefs in order to render them susceptible to critique and to illuminate present-day conflicts’ (Fraser and Gordon 1997: 122). Conversely, failure to operate in this way could be highly problematic for those located within social work and other areas of Children’s Services because ‘unreflective’ use of keywords ‘serve to enshrine certain interpretations of social life as authoritative and to delegitimate or obscure others, generally to the advantage of other groups in society and to the disadvantage of subordinate ones’ (Fraser and Gordon 1997: 123).

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