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Deleuze, art and social work

Crociani-Windland, Lita



© 2017 GAPS. This article outlines the value of Deleuze’s philosophy to social work in offering a different understanding of the constitution of reality and being human and the importance of the visual by way of artistic and craft activities. The key concepts derived from Deleuze’s work and outlined in the article concern the idea of the ‘virtual’ as relevant to the concept of ‘a life’ and ‘difference and repetition’ as a way of conceptualising an anti-essentialist post-modern view of identity as fragmented, but dynamic. In other words partaking of chaotic, but also creative potential. This conceptualisation of life allows to think about all lives, even ‘difficult’ ones, as potentially creatively undetermined in the future, rather than just pathologically predetermined by the past. Arts and crafts are seen as having the power to provoke and soothe, allowing a process of discovery of what the material and the person might both become in the doing. Thus, the article offers an ontological grounding validating arts and crafts, experiential learning and apprenticeship models as essential to social work practice and training at a time when these might be driven out by evidence-based paradigms and budget cuts.


Crociani-Windland, L. (2017). Deleuze, art and social work. Journal of Social Work Practice, 31(2), 251-262.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 9, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 9, 2017
Publication Date Aug 9, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 10, 2018
Journal Journal of Social Work Practice
Print ISSN 0265-0533
Electronic ISSN 1465-3885
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 2
Pages 251-262
Keywords Deleuze, visual, imagination, art, crafts, social work, ontology, epistemology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Social Work Practice on 09/08/2017, available online:


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