Journal Article

Practice Validity, Reflexivity and Knowledge for Social Work


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 28, issue 5, pages 763-781
Published in print October 1998 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 1998 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Practice Validity, Reflexivity and Knowledge for Social Work

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In the last few years there have been significant developments in conceptualizing the role and nature of knowledge in social work. This has been based on a fundamental review of epistemological, ethical and theoretical facets of social work and its knowledge base. Amongst some of the most significant developments have been the emergence of new concepts (for social work) such as process knowledge, reflexivity and a range of ideas relating to hypotheses. In a recent article, Susan White (1997) sought to critique some of my ideas on this matter. This article represents a response to her paper; one which uses the opportunity to draw out wider issues for a general theory of social work knowledge. In particular, it focuses on three key dimensions: the centrality of the concept of practice validity, the importance of a concept of reflexivity which is not simply transferred from the discipline of sociology but which has a social work-specific meaning, and the dangers of an unrestrained relativism.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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