Re-inventing the social professions in vulnerable neighbourhoods during Covid-19

  • Griet Roets (Speaker)
  • van Lanen, S. (Speaker)
  • Mare Knibbe (Contributor)
  • Simon Allemeersch (Contributor)
  • Tineke Schiettecat (Contributor)
  • Ceren Sezer (Contributor)
  • Fabian Kessl (Contributor)
  • Sara Willems (Contributor)
  • Klasien Horstman (Contributor)

    Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


    In diverse European welfare states, the recent ‘community turn’ reinvigorates the transfer of care responsibilities of the welfare state as a provider of public resources and services to the informal, private sphere within households and communities. These developments interestingly also result in the spatial rescaling of the nation state’s powers and responsibilities downwards to lower territorial levels of local welfare systems and communities. Little attention has nonetheless been paid to the vital yet changing role of community-based professionals throughout these transitions, although they are increasingly part of complex and dynamic community arrangements in which structural as well as local conditions give rise to complicated challenges in the provision of care. The complexities they have to deal with on an everyday basis have become particularly tangible during the covid-19 pandemic, which limited the functioning, accessibility and quality of public services that might be considered essential vehicles for the social professions in their quest for social justice.
    In this contribution, we therefore explore how the corona-measures influenced frontline professional strategies of community-oriented social and health care workers in diverse neighborhoods, drawing on research insights that emerged from joint and ongoing research seminars between scholars located at universities in the cities of Aachen (Germany), Ghent (Belgium), and Groningen and Maastricht (the Netherlands). For the cross-analysis of the findings, we rely on a socio-spatial analytical framework of ‘landscapes of care’ as a key concept, and differentiate between how professionals might shape the interrelated matter-, mind-, and power-scape of care in the community. The framework allows for an in-depth understanding of how the national scale and socio-political, structural arrangements of care influence how the local scale of community-based care is produced, considering space not just in terms of the landscapes that demarcate physical-material boundaries, but also as produced through socio-cultural social interactions and processes of meaning-making, and political structures and systemic power relations.
    Event titleCaring Geographies: the coproduction of care and sustainable living in urban and non-urban areas
    Event typeConference
    LocationRotterdam, NetherlandsShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational


    • covid-19
    • social work
    • care
    • neighbourhoods