Michal Krumer-Nevo

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Michal Krumer-Nevo
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Born (1961-06-08) June 8, 1961 (age 60)
NationalityIsraelis
CitizenshipIsrael
Alma materThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem
OccupationProfessor

Michal Livia Krumer-Nevo (born June 8, 1961) is a full professor at the Spitzer Department of Social work and the honorary president of the Israeli Center for Qualitative Research of People and Societies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her scholarly activity covers issues of poverty, critical theories and practice in social work, social injustice, Othering and qualitative methodologies. She developed the poverty-aware paradigm, a social justice framework for practice with people in poverty that has been widely implemented by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry (Israel).

Biography

Krumer-Nevo was born and raised in Israel. She received a bachelor’s degree in Hebrew literature from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and went on to study social work. She wrote her master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation in social work under the supervision of Prof. Jonah Rosenfeld at The Hebrew University. During her studies, she worked as a social worker with youth and in mental health frameworks and specialized in psychotherapy.

In 2000, she arrived at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev as a postdoctoral Kreitman fellow, and became a faculty member in 2002. She served as a research fellow at the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago and at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013, she was a member of the Israel Committee for the War against Poverty.[1] and since 2016 has served as senior academic advisor to the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services. Krumer-Nevo is married to Gideon Nevo and they have two sons.

Academic and Public Activity

The Poverty-Aware Paradigm (PAP)

Krumer-Nevo says her life project is “to change how social work works with people living in poverty.” To this end, she developed the Poverty-Aware paradigm (PAP) that perceives poverty as a violation of human rights and people in poverty as active agents who fight poverty with the limited means they have[2]. The paradigm includes a detailed model of direct practice that incorporates principles of critical social work, social activism, and relational psychotherapy[3]. According to PAP, in order to be relevant for people in poverty social workers should understand their practice as political, reject the hegemonic discourse of poverty and stand by service users in their struggle[4]

One of her first studies was published in the book Women in Poverty: Life Stories: Gender, Pain, Resistance (Hebrew)[5]. Listening to the life stories of women through feminist intersectional theory, her main argument was that women resist poverty throughout their lives, but because their struggle does not end successfully, society (including professionals) does not recognize their actions as resistance and often accuses then for contributing to their own poverty[6]. Following this study, with the aim of influencing stakeholders to listen to the knowledges of people in poverty, she conducted the first participatory action research with people in poverty in Israel[7]. The project culminated in a conference where people with direct experience of poverty (inside researchers) presented their position papers on housing, education, and the welfare system to academics, policymakers, managers of relevant services, and front-line professionals. Through the years, based on connections with the international ATD Fourth World Movement, she has been involved in the activist Forum for the Battle against Poverty, which initiated a special annual day for the eradication of poverty in the Israeli Knesset.

Her academic career and public activism has intertwined through the years, resulting in the nationwide implementation of the PAP by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry from 2015 onwards. As part of this implementation the Ministry has established a new role of ‘Social Rights Social Worker’, and has launched new programs and rights centers in social service departments in more than half of the municipalities in Israel. A special PAP training program has been introduced to social work curricula in the academia and in in-service education settings. The training program prepares social workers to conceive poverty as a state of social oppression and to be aware of its intersection with other situations of oppression while honing their critical social work practice skills.

As of 2020, PAP is gaining interest by senior officials in the Ministry of Justice (Israel) and in the Ministry of Education (Israel).

The book “Radical Hope: Poverty-Aware Practice for Social Work” (Policy Press, 2020)[3] that lays down the main principles of PAP was awarded the 2021 book award by the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). The book was published in Italian (Erikson Publishing House) and is going to be published in Hebrew (Resling Press).

Critical Social Work

Critical social work builds upon critical schools of thought such as post-structuralism, post-colonialism, feminisms, queer theory, and disability studies to enrich and update the historical tradition of radical social work. The main challenges of critical social work are how to bridge the gap between structural analysis of social problems on the one hand and direct practice on the other, and how to bring critical practice into social work settings characterized by a strong connection to the conservative and hegemonic establishment. On 2010 Krumer-Nevo has established a fieldwork training program at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Casework for Social Change - which trains social work students to view and design their work with people living in poverty as a political practice. In addition, she has established, together with social workers from Israel’s southern region, a forum for critical thinking for front-line social workers[8]. On 2014 she has established a special critical social work track within the M.A. program at her department, a track that she chairs till today. She contributes to the dissemination of critical thinking and practice also through supporting critical practitioners, and through documenting, researching, and conceptualizing their methods in order to make them accessible to others, give them a presence in the public arena, and reinforce them as a legitimate alternative to accepted professional action.

Among her publications on critical social work is a collection of essays in Hebrew, Critical Theory in Action: Critical Practices in the Social Sphere in Israel [1](2020, co-edited with Roni Strier and Idit Weiss-Gal, Resling).

The Israeli Center for Qualitative Research of People and Societies

Krumer-Nevo was among the founders of the Israeli Center for Qualitative Research of People and Societies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. From 2006 to 2016, she headed the Center with Dr. Maya Lavie-Ajayi as its academic coordinator. In this context, Krumer-Nevo was involved in leading the Israeli community of qualitative researchers and in introducing it to critical research methods that emphasize the subjectivities of researcher and research participants, and include autoethnography, participatory action research, community-based research, and feminist research methodologies.

Krumer-Nevo has co-edited three books in Hebrew on qualitative methodologies – Qualitative Data Analysis (2010, with Lea Kacen, Ben-Gurion University Press); The Limits of Quantification: Critical Perspective on Measurement and Grading (2010, with Yohai Hakak and Lea Kacen, Ben-Gurion University Press); and Feminist Research Methodologies (2014, with Maya Lavie-Ajayi and Daphna Hacker, Hakibutz Hameuchad Publications).

Awards and Honors

In 2014, Krumer-Nevo received a prize for her engagement in social change from the Minister of Welfare and Social Services. Michal Krumer-Nevo On 2019, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the shaping of social work and the Israeli welfare state from the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services. In the same year she received the Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding contribution to social policy, from the European Social Policy Association Net-Israel (Espanet-Israel). In an announcement it released, Espanet noted Krumer-Nevo’s influential work in developing and implementing the Poverty-Aware Social Work paradigm.

References

  1. "יו"ר הוועדה למלחמה בעוני לא שוכח את מי שאמר לו: "מרוקאים רק שוטפים כלים"". TheMarker. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  2. Krumer-Nevo, Michal (September 2016). "Poverty-Aware Social Work: A Paradigm for Social Work Practice with People in Poverty: Table 1". British Journal of Social Work. 46 (6): 1793–1808. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcv118. ISSN 0045-3102.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Michal, Krumer-Nevo (2020-06-22). Radical Hope: Poverty-Aware Practice for Social Work. Policy Press. ISBN 978-1-4473-5492-5.
  4. Saar-Heiman, Yuval; Gupta, Anna (2020-06-01). "The Poverty-Aware Paradigm for Child Protection: A Critical Framework for Policy and Practice". The British Journal of Social Work. 50 (4): 1167–1184. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcz093. ISSN 0045-3102.
  5. Krumer-Nevo, Michal (September 2009). "Four Scenes and an Epilogue: Autoethnography of a Critical Social Work Agenda Regarding Poverty". Qualitative Social Work: Research and Practice. 8 (3): 305–320. doi:10.1177/1473325009337839. ISSN 1473-3250.
  6. Krumer-Nevo, Michal (July 2008). "From noise to voice: How social work can benefit from the knowledge of people living in poverty". International Social Work. 51 (4): 556–565. doi:10.1177/0020872808090248. ISSN 0020-8728.
  7. Krumer-Nevo, Michal; Barak, Adi (December 2006). "Service Users' Perspectives on the Benefits System in Israel: A Participatory Action Research". Social Policy & Administration. 40 (7): 774–790. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9515.2006.00532.x. ISSN 0144-5596.
  8. Shimei, Nur; Krumer-Nevo, Michal; Saar-Heiman, Yuval; Russo-Carmel, Sivan; Mirmovitch, Ilana; Zaitoun-Aricha, Liora; Social Work For Change Group Members (October 2016). "Critical Social Work: A Performance Ethnography". Qualitative Inquiry. 22 (8): 615–623. doi:10.1177/1077800416629696. ISSN 1077-8004.

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