Social work, social development and practice legitimacy in Central Asia

Terry Murphy

in Social work in extremis

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427182
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303558 | DOI:
Social work, social development and practice legitimacy in Central Asia

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One of the core theoretical issues facing social work in extreme social environments is the nature of civil society within which social work normally finds a home. At the very least, social work and social development practice which fails to engage with local political, communal and cultural realities is ineffective, and at worst, it can promote active conflict and place local social work practitioners at risk. This chapter examines the basis for a theoretical understanding of the evolving role of social work in Central Asia's most populous country, Uzbekistan. It analyses the tension between social work's claim to universal values and the more recent international moves toward models of practice which embody indigenisation of theory and methods and the broader incorporation of local culture. The development of social work in Central Asia will have to be intimately connected with an engagement with the local forms of Islam in all its complex folk and syncretic manifestations.

Keywords: Central Asia; social work; social development; civil society; Uzbekistan; Islam; local culture

Chapter.  6197 words. 

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