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The Community action on environmental protection, a challenge for social work


Social work is criticized for its shortcomings and the need to reconsider social action insofar as it may deprive people of their proactivity and initiative. A set of citizen practices is calling for a paradigm shift, in the wake of community action. These practices consist of collective action aimed at fostering empowerment by developing the resources of people, groups, and communities. This is a political lever for action, to provide the poorest and marginalized people with the power to act ; it is capable of supporting the roll-out of unprecedented forms of organization and solidarity that have emerged from citizen groups challenging social work. However, community action remains difficult to define because it acts in multiple fields and is expressed in different forms. Because of this, we chose to focus on one specific practice, that of the waste pickers of the Association de Marché Écologique Individuel Organisé de la Récupération (AMELIOR) (organized individual ecological recovery association) in Île-de-France. This organization promotes a reinvented form of integration : not only do waste pickers organize themselves, they also demand rights, seeking emancipation by occupying socio-economic spaces from which they are generally excluded. In this article, we analyse the impact of the community action of waste pickers on the practices and framework of social work.`np pagenum="139"/b

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