History of Social Work in China

Peter Szto

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online September 2013 | | DOI:
History of Social Work in China

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The history of social work in China is both long-standing and emerging. It was first introduced in the 1920s when American missionaries established social work in several university-based sociology programs. After the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, the new government abolished social work, viewing it as an instrument of Western bourgeois capitalism. The government, however, reestablished social work in the 1980s in response to social problems that accompanied the economic reforms and modernization efforts of the same period. While social work education and professional practice remain nascent, their numbers are increasing at an unprecedented rate. Currently there are over two hundred social work programs, and the central government has established the goal of graduating two million social workers by 2020. This ambitious goal demonstrates China’s commitment to social work as a means of sustaining economic development and actualizing a “harmonious society.” Social work’s reintroduction in 1984 also prompted an emergent literature—in both Chinese and English. Still evolving, the literature is historically self-conscious as to cultural context and seeks to generate an indigenous model of professional practice.

Article.  6971 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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