Social Work and the City

Urban Themes in 21st-Century Social Work

  • Charlotte¬†Williams

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Making Sense of the City

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-13
    2. Charlotte Williams
      Pages 15-41
    3. Charlotte Williams
      Pages 43-70
    4. Charlotte Williams
      Pages 71-96
    5. Charlotte Williams
      Pages 97-120
  3. Social Issues and the City: New Directions in Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 121-126
    2. Dirk Geldof
      Pages 127-149
    3. Michael J. Prince
      Pages 173-192
    4. Donna Baines
      Pages 193-214
    5. Carole Zufferey
      Pages 215-233
    6. Susie Costello, Julian Raxworthy
      Pages 259-280
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 281-299

About this book


This book critically explores ways of thinking about the city and its relevance for the profession of social work. It provides a colourful illustration of practice drawing on examples of social work responses to a range of issues emerging from the unprecedented scale, density and pace of change in cities. The associated challenges posed for social work include: the increased segregation of the poor, the crisis of affordable housing, homelessness, gentrification, ageing, displacement as a result of migrations, and the breakdown of social support and care. 

Drawing on multiple disciplines, this groundbreaking work shows that these familiar features of the twenty-first century can be counteracted by the positive aspects of the city: its innovation, creativity and serendipity. It has a redistributive, caring and cohesive potential. The city can provide new opportunities and resources for social work to influence, to collaborate, to foster participation and involvement, and to extend its social justice mandate. The book shows that the city represents a critical arena in terms of the future of social work intervention and social work identity. In doing so, it will be of great interest to students and scholars of social work, social policy, community work and urban studies.


Urbanization Cities Sustainability Human Geography Identity Disability Marginalised Minorities Homelessness Diversity Superdiversity Poverty Ageing Participation intervention social science social work work

Editors and affiliations

  • Charlotte¬†Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Global, Urban and Social StudiRMIT University School of Global, Urban and Social StudiMelbourneAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-51622-0
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-51623-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site