David Kenkel, Ph.D.

West Auckland, New Zealand

Email: davidkenkel227@gmail.com
Website of interest: https://reimaginingsocialwork.nz

David is a New Zealand Pakeha (New Zealander of European descent) who has worked in the social services most of his adult life. He has taught Tertiary level courses in advocacy, human rights, family violence, counselling, social work, and community development. David also comes from a family with a long proud history of environmental and social/union activism. David was born, raised and still lives in West Auckland New Zealand on the Whenua (Place) of the Iwi (Tribe) Te Kawerau ā Maki and is very committed to his local community.  David has been using (and playing with) post-structural and social-constructionist approaches since the late 1980’s. His background includes lobbying and advocacy for children’s rights, and he has worked extensively with families and communities struggling with the iniquitous impacts of neo-liberally informed social and economic policies. David is very aware that the world faces looming ecological and societal catastrophe and that current global capitalism offers the antithesis of what is needed to ameliorate these (at this point) somewhat inevitable catastrophes.

David is a great believer in hope. Not hope that science will fix the predicaments we face but rather hope that from the detritus of those predicaments will emerge new modes of subjectivity and community. David is no longer so interested in what we in the west need to ‘do’ differently but rather how we need to ‘be’ differently. His Doctorate took the unusual step of asking people to speculate about future ‘new normals’ of peoples relations with place self and other likely to emerge in response to a future significantly more resource constrained than the present. David was delighted to discover in his research many rich stories of a future valuing of interdependence, collectivity and egalitarian community. He continues to be fascinated with where such stories of an appropriately diminished and less entitled sense of self and other can be found in today’s world. He is also active in seeking the many ways communities will need to adapt to a harsher future world.

David is fascinated with the lived interstices between despair for the future and unwarranted hope and committed to telling unpalatable truths about what research and (increasingly) lived experience tell us the near-term future is likely to bring the world and what this will mean for us as a global community.

David Kenkel, Ph.D. resources