Journal Article

Questioning Habermasian Social Work: A Note on Some Alternative Theoretical Resources

Paul Michael Garrett

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 5, pages 867-883
Published in print July 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcn026
Questioning Habermasian Social Work: A Note on Some Alternative Theoretical Resources

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Summary

It has been maintained that the social theory of Jurgen Habermas may assist social workers, and others, involved in child protection and related forms of endeavour. Whilst welcoming Hayes and Houston's willingness to utilize social theory, it is argued that Habermas' work is also problematic because of an unsatisfactory approach to issues connected to power differentials. In this context, it will be suggested that there is a need to be wary about the emphasis which Habermas places on the possibilities for unconstrained dialogue. Moreover, the work of a number of other European writers may help to illuminate key factors which Habermas neglects and also provide alternative theoretical resources for social workers and those working in associated fields.

Keywords: Social theory; Bourdieu; Bakhtin; Gramsci

Journal Article.  6904 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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