Workfare versus reconceptualizing work : Rethinking social security reform for lone mothers in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-122
Journal / PublicationInternational Social Work
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2015


Workfare has become a dominant social welfare approach in dealing with unemployment in various cities around the world. Recent social security reforms for lone mothers on benefits in Hong Kong are examples of the application of workfare in practice. This article argues that workfare strategy based on an outdated industrial-productivist conception of work contributes to the marginalization and undervaluation of work performed by disadvantaged groups. A reconceptualization of work will help to open up new alternatives in social work practice.

Research Area(s)

  • caring, housework, lone mother, social security, unemployment, workfare