Lola Zappi traces the source of this profession back to the inter-war period : social worker. Read More
Two opposite visions of social workers coexist in collective imagination. The first is idealised, the incarnation of help to the needy, the other seen as a representative of the "family police" which takes children from parents and exercises a form of social control.
Lola Zappi traces the source of this profession back to the inter-war period. She analyses the encounter between working class families and young middle-class women with the self-appointed mission to help them. Stemming from private charitable projects, the social services became essential instruments in social policy over the course of two decades.
In order to understand how working-class families reacted to these new incursions, Zappi, a historian, has immersed herself in archival cases of child welfare services. Her study on social work shows how these assistants became the face of a social state that was both more accessible and more intrusive.