Contemporary perceptions of social work: macro practice in the profession

Molly Calhoun, Elizabeth Lightfoot, Katlin Okamoto, Karen Goodenough, Mingyang Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study provides an updated understanding of the public’s perception of social work in a Midwestern U. S. context, with an emphasis on how the public views macro practice as part of the scope of the profession, the tasks of social workers, and an exploration of the factors associated with attitudes about social workers. Findings suggest a positive perception of social work as a helping profession. While respondents reported a greater awareness of the comprehensive nature of social work roles, including macro-practice roles, than previous studies, participants still reflected a lack of knowledge around about some of the specific tasks that social workers perform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-391
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Community Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Macro practice
  • public perception
  • social work attitudes
  • social work roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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