1st Edition

The State of Feminist Social Work

By Vicky White Copyright 2007
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    Social work is currently undergoing major change in its policies, organization and day-to-day practice and much has been written about the feminist presence in social work. In particular, feminist social work has focused on the role of women social workers in developing distinctive forms of practice, rooted in a commitment to egalitarian relationships with women service users. The State of Feminist Social Work challenges the limitations of this perspective.

    Tracing key ideas in feminist social work from the 1970s through to the present day, and using data from interviews with female social workers, this book draws out tensions between the literature and the actual experience of female social workers. In doing so, it:

    • highlights the significance for feminists of social work's location in the state
    • enables the experiences of women social workers to be explored and placed within their structural context
    • opens up the possibility of diverse identities, identifications and stances amongst women social workers
    • critically examines the current state of feminist social work.

    The State of Feminist Social Work provides an important appraisal of the subject and is essential reading for all those with an interest in feminism and social work theory, practice and education.

    1. Introduction  2. Feminist Social Work   3. State Social Work  4. Social Work Education  5. Identities, Identifications and Stances  6. Egalitarian Relationships and Empowerment  7. Managerialism  8. Conclusion


    Vicky White teaches and researches in the School of Health and Social Studies at the University of Warwick. In addition to substantial experience in social work education at qualification, post-qualification and advanced levels, she has worked as a social worker in field and residential settings in the statutory sector.

    Professor Norma Baldwin Dept of Social Work, University of Dundee:

    ‘It is an interesting and timely proposal arguing for reassessment of previous theoretical positions and looking critically at organisational factors which have not previously been foregrounded. At a time of major change in health and social work organisation this will be helpful. ’

    Barbara Fawcett Head of Dept of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Bradford:

    ‘There is considerable interest in feminism and social work in Australia, New Zealand and the USA.’

    Mary Langan, School of Social Policy, The Open University:

    ‘The new degree in social work will provide a readership for this book.’