Using Social Work Theory in Practice



Many people have difficulty in applying social work theory in practice. The first part of this chapter considers three debates about this issue. The pragmatic argument proposes that there is a confusing array of theories, mainly imported from outside social work practice by academic theory-builders, and that these are not practically useful. It relates to a pragmatic tradition of social work practice particularly associated with official agencies rather than with social reform or therapy, which offer alternative traditions of social work theory. In response to these arguments I propose a social constructionist view suggesting that this debate is basically a struggle for control of social work theory and practice between different interests within social work.


Social Work Residential Care Behavioural Approach Community Work Social Work Practice 
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Copyright information

© Malcolm Stuart Payne 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Didsbury, ManchesterUK

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