Social Work at the Crossroads: The Empirical Highway or the Postmodern/Critical Off-Ramp?

Brett Drake, David R. Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The social work profession may be at a paradigmatic inflection point. Social work’s emphasis on evidence and scientific evaluation of knowledge is being challenged by what we term a “Postmodern/Critical Theory” perspective. To facilitate understanding of this crossroads and some of the issues involved, we trace the lineage of both perspectives and describe the core components of each. We conclude with a section laying out some of the advantages and disadvantages of either staying the “Empirical Highway” or taking the “Postmodern/Critical Off-Ramp”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-373
Number of pages11
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • critical theory
  • empiricism
  • enlightenment
  • postmodernism
  • social work profession

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)

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