Sociological social work is a lifelong social work practice which is animated by a sociological perspective. Social workers 'shorthand' orientations such as 'strengths perspective', 'task centred' or 'humanistic' (to name but a few), as a way to identify their philosophical and theoretical approaches in professional life. Whilst some texts have examined sociology for social work, this text instead proposes that sociological social work is a legitimate and theoretically rich orientation, and this book demonstrates what sociological social work looks like in our rapidly changing world. This text will equip students and practitioners with a way to think sociologically, not just while they are studying, but as an ever present reference for making sense of social work purpose and how this is realised in a transforming world. This follows an established tradition in social work literature, but this book elevates and names the importance of this approach, which we argue is critically needed if social work is to achieve its agenda in transformative social, political economic and environmental contexts. The current landscape in which we live is one that is characterised by rapid changes which have implications for the life experiences of those with whom social workers work, social justice advocacy agendas, and for fulfilling the purpose of social work more generally. This book is essential reading for those looking to keep up with these changes.
Dr Priscilla Dunk-West is a sociologist and social worker and she has held a number of academic appointments in England and Australia. Prior to becoming an academic, Priscilla practiced as a social worker firstly in child protection and then in sexual health. The nexus between social work and sociology is a continued source of interest and her research involves understanding the sexual self and selfhood and identity in late modernity. She is currently senior lecturer in social work at the University of South Australia. Fiona Verity is adjunct Professor of Social Work, Flinders University, and both a social worker and sociologist. Before academic life she worked for 17 years in community development and management roles, mainly in the community health sector. She has maintained an active engagement in working with community organisations. She has conducted research on the impacts of insurance and risk management on civil society after the collapse of the insurance company HIH, food affordability and access, and community based health promotion.
’The authors cover an impressive breadth of issues of interest to contemporary students and practitioners of social work in a refreshingly engaging and creative way. The book makes a persuasive case for a re-emphasising of the social component of social work and highlights the shared areas of concern within sociology and social work, with a focus upon the interplay between global and local, public and private. Readers will enjoy the innovative and well written chapters including those concerned with professional self-hood, time and social work, new technologies. Readers will be hard pressed to resist the authors’ urging to adopt a sociological sensibility and curiosity.’ Cath Holmstrom, University of Sussex, UK