The Lazarus Project Analysis

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Foucault’s technologies of self, Grace Ministries, and the Lazarus Project
Since they seek to change people’s lives and focus less on the social conditions contributing to addictions, could the Lazarus Project be called an “oppressive” organization? The concepts “technology of self” and “governmentality” (introduced by Michael Foucault) have come in vogue in the social science literature, and have been applied to the role of various non-profits. According to Ghatak and Abel (2013, p. 220),

in the Foucauldian perspective, power is not reified or seen as an instrument of class domination, but it is infused in social relations between people, communities, and institutions and in ‘technologies’ that are concerned with the production, reproduction,
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However, I personally think that nonprofits such as the Lazarus Project can do important work in helping those struggling with addiction and homelessness, and would argue that in general, the critique of neoliberalism is sometimes short-sighted (though in many instances also showing some validity). In order to clarify this, I would like to emphasize here what we have found in our work at Grace …show more content…
It would be great to know not only that the Lazarus Project is successful, but also how - that is, through which mechanisms - it achieves this success. However, Williamson and Hood (2016) make some inferences from their statistical data, e.g. when describing who stays in the project in comparison to who leaves it, which hints at causal connections in terms of the interaction between the personality and the group. For example, they tell us that those that eventually graduated from the program also “reported less depression and higher self-esteem” already at the beginning of the program, in comparison to those who eventually dropped out, in addition, they showed some differences in the Big 5 personality markers of “agreeableness, emotional stability, and openness” and in intrinsic religiosity, even though, like dropouts, “they came to the LP with little sense of spiritual, religious, or existential well-being and without notable experiences of a mystical nature with God” (p. 73). The crucial difference between the two groups, is described by the authors this way: “Unlike dropouts, however, they saw religion as something to be embraced as a source of help and meaning rather than used for some social benefit – for example, a furlough from jail” (p.

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