Changing Perspectives and Changing Goals. Constructivism in Social Work Re-Visited

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The article explores salient philosophic orientations through research grounded on often consulted scholarly literature. The central argument is that social work paradigms have swayed through the decades. The scientific objectivism and positivism of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, influenced social work practice, but social work always performed at the edges of science because of the unpredictable nature of human phenomena. In the postmodern sense, social work has been a collage where science, art, rationality and intuition, systematic and unsystematic knowledge meet. Constructivism evolved relatively recently as an attractive more pliable alternative that can accommodate different ways of viewing the world and different interpretations of 'reality'. Constructivism offers a framework more receptive to the post-colonial cultural and identity challenges that social work scholarship and practice now encounters. This narrative hopes to make social work professionals aware of the pitfalls of adopting single methodological options instead of engaging in the ongoing exploration of alternatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-281
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • history of social work
  • social constructionism
  • social exclusion
  • social work education
  • social work theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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