Read e-book online Challenging Social Work: The Institutional Context of PDF

By Catherine McDonald

ISBN-10: 023050549X

ISBN-13: 9780230505490

ISBN-10: 1403935459

ISBN-13: 9781403935458

This booklet explores the demanding situations dealing with social paintings, prepares readers for the realities of perform, and engages the reader in a complete, theoretically educated but obtainable research of why social paintings must reconstitute itself.

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Friedland and Alford (1991) use the notion of ‘value spheres’ developed by Weber – clusters of values nested within the overarching institutional logic of a field. They do this to expose differences between rationalities – for example between welfare and workfare. Importantly for this discussion, they note that in institutional fields multiple sub-rationalities can operate at the same time. Within the welfare field, social work is a value sphere in its own right; with its particular theoretical, substantive, and formal rationalities (Townley, 2002; Kalberg, 1980).

If social workers develop some appreciation of the various arguments posed about why this is occurring, they are more likely to acknowledge that strategic thinking about the future is timely; specifically, thinking about the likely consequences for people who use social work services, as well as about the profession’s response. In other words, when reflecting on the impact of economic globalization, our imagining of alternatives takes on a new urgency. In this chapter, I give a brief overview of the processes said to have prompted the current era of economic globalization.

Even if institutional change is not as advanced in other countries as it is in the United States, there is still a general drift in the national policy imagination in the post-industrial states away from poverty and disadvantage as an important social problem requiring significant and sustained government attention and intervention. As suggested in the previous paragraph there are a number of influential thinkers and a collection of think tanks around the world questioning the capacity and correctness of governments to take leadership roles and indeed, make a difference in debates about and responses to poverty.

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Challenging Social Work: The Institutional Context of Practice by Catherine McDonald


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