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Critical social work encourages emancipatory personal and social change. This text focuses on the challenge of incorporating critical theory into the practice of social workers and provides case studies and insights from a range of fields to illustrate how to work with tensions and challenges. Beginning with an outline of the theoretical basis of critical social work and its different perspectives, the authors go on to introduce key features of working in this tradition including critical reflection. Part II explores critical practices in confronting privilege and promoting social justice in social work, examining such issues as human rights, gender, poverty and class. Part III considers the development of critical practices within the organisational context of social work including the fields of mental health, child and family services, within Centrelink and prison settings. Part IV is focused on doing anti- discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice in social work with particular populations including asylum seekers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, domestic violence survivors, older people and lesbian, gay and transgender groups. Finally, Part V outlines collectivist and transformative practices in social work and beyond, looking at environmental issues, social activism, the disability movement and globalisation. 'A highly valuable addition to social work education and practice literature in Australia and beyond its shores.' Ruth Phillips, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney
This book offers a much-needed critical overview of the concept of social justice and its application in professional social work practice. Social justice has a rich conceptual genealogy in critical theory and political philosophy. For students, teachers and social workers concerned with empowerment, social change and human rights, this book provides a guide to the key ideas and thinkers, crucial historical developments and contemporary debates about social justice. It synthesises interdisciplinary knowledge and offers a new framework for practice, including a clear and practical exposition of four domains of skills and knowledge important for social justice informed social work. The book also contributes to social work pedagogy by offering a comprehensive set of learning outcomes that can be used to design curriculum, teaching and learning, and further research into social justice praxis. This book provides a range of philosophical and critical perspectives to support and inform social work professional knowledge and skills. In its tight knitting together of theory and practice this book links philosophical and moral principles with an understanding of how to engage with social justice in a way that is relevant to social work.
Critical multicultural practice, rather than being a specialism, is integral to Australian social work. Drawing on critical race theory, critical multiculturalism, intersectionality and critical reflection as practice theory, this major new edited collection challenges many of the dominant assumptions of cross-cultural social work and provides instead a new model of transformative engagement. Key concepts are considered, including identity, culture, diversity and superdiversity, how power and privilege shape everyday interactions and what is meant by citizenship in the contemporary context. Part One explores the changing nature of multicultural practice in Australia, including our society's changing demographic profile, the impact of asylum and refugee migrations, race and racism and cultural identity. Indigenous perspectives and the relationship with multicultural practice are examined, together with the ethical and legal basis for multicultural practice. This part concludes with an outline of the editors' framework for critical multicultural practice. Part Two draws on contributions from a range of practitioners and offers new perspectives on diverse fields, including child protection, mental health, disability, ageing, homelessness and rural and regional practice. Featuring case studies and insights drawn from across the spectrum of practice, this book is a vital resource for all social workers practising in Australia today. '[A] rich and nuanced analysis of what is happening at the interfaces of our work and the lives of Australian citizens, [it] articulates ways forward that are genuine, bold and empathetic.' From the foreword by Professor Kerry Arabena, The University of Melbourne
The Routledge Handbook of Critical Pedagogies for Social Work traverses new territory by providing a cutting-edge overview of the work of classic and contemporary theorists, in a way that expands their application and utility in social work education and practice; thus, providing a bridge between critical theory, philosophy, and social work. Each chapter showcases the work of a specific critical educational, philosophical, and/or social theorist including: Henry Giroux, Michel Foucault, Cornelius Castoriadis, Herbert Marcuse, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Joan Tronto, Iris Marion Young, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, and many others, to elucidate the ways in which their key pedagogic concepts can be applied to specific aspects of social work education and practice. The text exhibits a range of research-based approaches to educating social work practitioners as agents of social change. It provides a robust, and much needed, alternative paradigm to the technique-driven ‘conservative revolution’ currently being fostered by neoliberalism in both social work education and practice. The volume will be instructive for social work educators who aim to teach for social change, by assisting students to develop counter-hegemonic practices of resistance and agency, and reflecting on the pedagogic role of social work practice more widely. The volume holds relevance for both postgraduate and undergraduate/qualifying social work and human services courses around the world.
This book argues that the concept of care is a political and a moral concept. As such, it enables us to examine moral and political life through a radically different lens. The editors and contributors to the book argue that care has the potential to interrogate relationships of power and to be a tool for radical political analysis for an emerging critical social work that is concerned with human rights and social justice. The book brings a critical ethics of care into the realm of theory and practice in social work. Informed by critical theory, feminism, intersectionality and post-colonialism, the book interrogates the concept of care in a wide range of social work settings. It examines care in the context of social neglect, interdisciplinary perspectives, the responsibilisation agenda in social work and the ongoing debate about care and justice. It situates care in the settings of mental health, homelessness, elder care, child protection, asylum seekers and humanitarian aid. It further demonstrates what can be learnt about care from the post-colonial margins, Aboriginal societies, LGBTI communities and disability politics. It demonstrates ways of transforming the politics and practices of care through the work of feminist mothers, caring practices by men, meditations on love, rethinking self-care, extending care to the natural environment and the principles informing cross-species care. The book will be invaluable to social workers, human service practitioners and managers who are involved in the practice of delivering care, and it will assist them to challenge the punitive and hurtful strategies of neoliberal rationalisation. The critical theoretical focus of the book has significance beyond social work, including nursing, psychology, medicine, allied health and criminal justice.
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the diverse and contested world of social work. It explores the key concepts and theoretical frameworks underpinning contemporary social work practice, as well as relevant professional skills and strategies from a critical perspective. In a rapidly changing world, it locates critical social work as a part of broader and ongoing struggles for social justice and human rights. Readers are encouraged to think about what social work is or should be, and what sort of social worker they would like to become. The book covers a broad range of topics, including the history and development of social work as a profession, values and ethics, theories for practice, and the fields and context of practice. Definitions of key terms, reflective exercises and case studies are integrated throughout the text. Written by a diverse team of experienced educators, this is a stimulating, rigorous and student-friendly resource.
This gateway text lays the foundations for a thorough knowledge of the theory and methods that social workers need. Pulling together the work of a team of experts, this book uses the innovative “theorizing practice” approach, rather than the traditional “applying theory to practice” approach, thereby providing a much more satisfactory basis for understanding the relationship between theory and practice and making it easier for practitioners to employ theory in practice. Part I sets the scene by examining the relationship between theory and practice, how research can be used to inform practice and the important role of policy and organizational factors. Part II provides 14 chapters, each exploring a different theoretical approach. All in all, this book provides the ideal introduction to using social work theory and methods in practice.

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