Journal Article

Tracing the contours of postmodern social work

S Walker

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 31, issue 1, pages 29-39
Published in print February 2001 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online February 2001 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Tracing the contours of postmodern social work

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Postmodern ideas and the ferment of debate generated by them continue to influence and challenge social work policy and practice. Recent discourses within the social science literature have rarely acknowledged earlier contributions concerning the development of social work in the context of the debate between modernist and postmodernist epistemology. This paper examines some of the links between earlier and more contemporary ideas, and in so doing highlights their complementary nature and the potential contributions they offer to the shape and texture of social work in the future as it seeks to define itself in a postmodern world. Examining these debates in this way enables them to be perceived as helpful resources for social workers to draw upon, rather than choices from which to exclude. It is therefore possible to begin to map the contours of changing practice as it evolves whilst understanding something of its origins, traditions and connections. This paper concludes by recommending a broader intellectual panorama and less allegiance to opposing theoretical positions by social work policy makers and practitioners who feel constrained to choose between either postmodernist or modernist epistemology.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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