Journal Article

Reflexivity, its Meanings and Relevance for Social Work: A Critical Review of the Literature

Heather D’Cruz, Philip Gillingham and Sebastian Melendez

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 37, issue 1, pages 73-90
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online February 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcl001
Reflexivity, its Meanings and Relevance for Social Work: A Critical Review of the Literature

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The concept of ‘reflexivity’ has become increasingly significant in social work literature in relation to social work education, theory and practice. However, our reading of the literature indicates that there is a lack of clarity about the concept in terms of who is being exhorted to be ‘reflexive’, when and how. This article addresses these questions through a critical review of social work literature since the 1990s that discusses the concept of ‘reflexivity’. Given that many authors seem to use the concepts of ‘reflexivity’ and ‘(critical) reflection’ interchangeably, we also apply this analysis to ‘reflection’ and ‘critical reflection’. This article raises important questions about how the concepts of ‘reflexivity’, ‘critical reflection’ and ‘reflectivity’ are defined and the different consequences such definitions might have for social work education, theory and practice.

Keywords: reflexivity; critical reflection; reflectivity; social work

Journal Article.  8139 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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