Journal Article

Beyond Social Constructionism: Critical Realism and Social Work

Stan Houston

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 31, issue 6, pages 845-861
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/31.6.845
Beyond Social Constructionism: Critical Realism and Social Work

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Theories within the social and psychological sciences continue to shape social work practice. However, recent debates within these sciences on the shortcomings of ‘social constructionism’, and the attempt to overcome them through a critical realist position, have so far failed to capture social work's attention. This paper provides a critical overview of these theoretical debates, highlighting the shortcomings of social constructionism for social work. The critical realist challenge to social constructionism, as articulated by the British philosopher Roy Bhaskar, is considered and its relevance to social work formulated in terms of a return to ‘depth’ in practice.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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