Governing Risk pp 144-163 | Cite as

A Technical Identity?



Following on from the previous chapter, I now provide an account of the findings of my research into the impact of risk in social work as this relate to ‘technologies’ and ‘identities’. It is the intersection of governing practices with thought which comprise governmentality, and so attention must be paid to both elements. I begin by focusing on what Dean refers to as ‘the techne of government’ or the ‘means, mechanisms, procedures, instruments, tactics, technologies and vocabularies’ (1999, p. 31) which are utilised in the pursuit of governing objectives. More broadly these may be referred to as ‘technologies of government’. The significance attached to the technological aspect of government reflects the view that regimes and practices of government are not solely manifestations of dominant ideology and that the realisation of governmental ambitions is dependent upon technologies which ‘are a condition of governing and often impose limits over what it is possible to do’ (1991, p. 31). As Parton puts it, ‘for intervention to take place certain techniques or “technologies” are required which provide the particular mechanisms through which the object of concern can be modified and normalised’ (1994, p. 13). These technologies are not necessarily concerned with risk. Rather, they are the standard means via which practitioners go about seeking to achieve their day-to-day tasks.


Social Work Criminal Justice Service User Professional Identity Governing Risk 
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Copyright information

© Mark Hardy 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of YorkUK

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