Applying critical social work theory in practice

Malcolm Payne

Critical social work theory is a discourse about the nature of social work expressed through its formulation of practice. Three traditions of thinking contribute to it: taking a sceptical stance towards knowledge for practice, ideas critical of existing social orders and theory from sociological traditions, in particular Marxist thought, critical social theory of the Frankfurt School and postmodern and feminist thought. These influences have both receded and developed within social work during the 20th century and built a renewed form of practice that includes critical reflection, advocacy and self-help in the face of poverty and social oppressions, ideas about anti-oppression, feminism and social identity. Although radical social work of the 1970s focused on revolutionary social change, recent practice developments have built a structural practice and a range of other transformational strategies that can be applied to many different client groups.
Słowa kluczowe: Critical social work theory, social work practice

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