Social Work : Seeking Relevancy in the Twenty-First Century book cover
1st Edition

Social Work
Seeking Relevancy in the Twenty-First Century

ISBN 9780789010506
Published January 26, 2000 by Routledge
160 Pages

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Book Description

Discover why social work must be restructured if it is to remain viable!

Social Work: Seeking Relevancy in the Twenty-First Century provides you with a critical examination of the major issues that social work education and practice must confront if social work is to remain as a mainline profession. The book explores issues that are not normally covered in social work literature, such as the challenge of reconstructing the social work profession, the use of technology in social work, and the tension surrounding various social work education curriculums. You will benefit from this thorough discussion of the many problems that the social work profession is facing: a lack of scholarly research, inadequate educational programs, and the use of hypertechnology to educate social work students.

Social Work: Seeking Relevancy in the Twenty-First Century examines the epistemological, theoretical, socio/technical, and practice directions that social work has branched into. You'll discover that today's central direction for social work is generated from liberal, postmodern, and increasingly feminist ideological perspectives. In a field where conceptual and theoretical input rarely allow for intellectual diversity, this volume demonstrates that several views are best for inquiry and exploration in social work.

Issues discussed include:

  • examining real or unreal social work values by separating them from beliefs, preferences, norms, attitudes, and opinions
  • creating social work course outlines that incorporate practices developed around the globe, allowing for more conceptual and theoretical growth within the field
  • realizing the tremendous difference between communication in the instrumental sense via technology, and in the affective, soul-oriented sense via personal interaction
  • investigating the negative effects of communicating with hypertechnology (modems, e-mail) in the social work profession
  • realizing the need for a greater quantity and quality of social work research to progress further in the field
Social Work: Seeking Relevancy in the Twenty-First Century invites you to reinvent social work for today's post-industrial and post-modern era. You will discover a series of challenges that social work must meet and overcome if it is to move into the new century as a relevant and viable profession. You will explore solutions such as increasing scholarship and research among social workers, and decreasing the use of technology (for example, classes held via the Internet) in social work education programs in order to increase the quality of the social work profession.

Table of Contents


  •  Chapter 1. Beyond Postmodernism: The Challenge of Reconstructing the Social Work Profession
  • Flexner Revisited
  • The Status of Knowledge
  • Ideological Captivity
  • The Myth of Values
  • Professional Ethnocentricity
  • Postmodernism and other “isms”
  • Social Work and Social Policy
  • Status of Social Work Education
  • Summing Up the Challenges
  • Chapter 2. Crisis in Social Work Theory: Can a New Spirit for Social Work Be Constructed out of the Shattered Grand Narratives of the Past?
  • Decline of Grand Narratives
  • Understanding Grand Narratives in Social Work
  • Prolegomena for a New Spirit for Social Work
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3. The Disjuncture of Science and Social Work
  • Uneasy Relationships Between Social Work and Science
  • The Ecological Worldview
  • Objectivism Versus Constructivism: Social Work's Uneasy Relationships
  • Research Training and Education
  • The Social Work Literature
  • Science-Driven Practice
  • Summary and Conclusion
  • Chapter 4. Hypertechnology in Social Work
  • Why Do We Have Hypermodern Technology in Social Work?
  • Offices Without Walls and Distance-Spanning Innovations
  • Computers, the Internet, and Related Hypertechnology
  • What Is Wrong with Hypertechnology in Social Work?
  • What Should We Do As Educators/Practitioners?
  • Is Community Possible?
  • Chapter 5. Social Work Education: From Metanarrative to Curricular Variety
  • Historical Background
  • A Success Story
  • BSW and MSW Curricular Tension
  • The BSW Curricular Conundrum
  • Concentrations Without Boundaries
  • Contextual Issues
  • Program Selectivity
  • Student Preference
  • Faculty Resource Disparity
  • Gender and Diversity Issues
  • Challenges and Opportunities
  • Chapter 6. Tough Medicine: What Needs To Be Done
  • Toward a Scientific Social Work
  • Scientific Practice
  • Axioms of Scientific Practice
  • A Scientifically Based Theory of Social Work Practice
  • Behaving Like Other Academics
  • Improving Social Work Editorial Boards
  • Summary and Conclusion
  • Chapter 7. Critical Issues for the Twenty-First Century
  • References
  • Index

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Jean A Pardeck, Roland Meinert and Larry W Kreuger