Stephen Webb's recent article ‘Against diversity and difference in social work’ claims that the work of Alain Badiou has the potential to be of great use in social work practice. Webb is faced with the problem of a discourse that has eroded any practical meaning attached to notions of diversity and difference, he laments the ‘ethical turn’ in social work practice and blames post-modernism. Webb views the work of Badiou as a way to reinvigorate social work practice. I claim that Badiou's Being and Event is exclusive to ontology. Connections between Being and Event and possible ‘uses’ of Badiou's subtractive ontology, as an instrumentalisation, are not worthwhile. Critiquing Badiou's non-ontological philosophies and political polemics is a better way to assess the practicality of his thought outside of his ontology. Webb's conflation of post-modernism, neoliberalism and the difference, diversity and ethics discourse is also problematic and is critiqued here.
International Journal of Social Welfare Vol. 19, Issue 2, p. 253-258