This article argues that the politics of the 'right to difference' and celebration of diversity in social work is a malign tendency that is symptomatic of the malaise of postmodernism and other fashionable trends in human rights discourse. It is suggested that a normative concept of human rights as worked through postmodern preoccupations with difference and diversity is a morally bankrupt perspective. The fixation of the 'right to difference' in social work runs parallel with neoliberalism with its celebration of diversity. The article offers a set of conceptual devices for rethinking social work ethics through the writings of Alain Badiou. His subtractive ontology of truth is presented as an essentialist alternative to the relativist discourses of difference. If social work is to recover a progressive stance, we must reinstall the concepts of sameness and equality. Therefore, social work should be 'indifferent to differences' by transcending the politics of difference.
International Journal of Social Welfare Vol. 18, Issue 3, p. 307-316