Journal Article

Social work, social networks and network knowledge

S Trevillion

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 30, issue 4, pages 505-517
Published in print August 2000 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online August 2000 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Social work, social networks and network knowledge

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The claim that there is something distinctive about the kind of knowledge associated with social work research is investigated. When three tests of distinctiveness are applied it emerges that the only way in which this claim can be upheld is by reference to a prior claim to ontological distinctiveness. The nature of this distinctive ontology is explored using an image of links and interdependencies. It is argued that complexity is integral to both the world of social work practice and the process of doing social work research. Alternative conceptions of complexity in the physical and social sciences are discussed but it is suggested that social work research needs its own concept of 'network knowledge' if it is to deliver understandings of complexity relevant to the world in which it exists. Finally, the extent to which network knowledge is networked knowledge, collectively owned and produced is examined. The article concludes that by linking the concept of knowledge to the process of knowledge creation, what emerges is not only a distinctive research paradigm but also a way of rebuilding a concept of professional unity and purpose in social work education.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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