Professional Ideologies and Preferences in Social Work: A Global Study

Professional Ideologies and Preferences in Social Work: A Global Study

Professional Ideologies and Preferences in Social Work: A Global Study

Professional Ideologies and Preferences in Social Work: A Global Study

Synopsis

Weiss, Gal, Dixon, and their contributors provide the first large-scale cross-national and cross-cultural examination of the views and the perceptions of social workers through this analysis of graduating social worker students on the threshold of their careers in social work. They identify and analyze the graduating social work students' attitudes towards the sources of social distress, the preferred ways to deal with social problems, the goals of social work, and their professional preferences with regard to client groups, types of professional activity, and place of work.

Excerpt

Globalization and the proliferation of social work throughout the world have led to an increasing interest in international social work on the part of social work practitioners, educators and researchers. What was in the past predominantly a profession dominated by an introspective perspective has become one increasingly occupied with developments in other national settings and often influenced by cross-cultural dialogue and interaction.

A result of this globalizing trend has been a growth in comparative and cross-national research within social work. This book represents our modest contribution to this effort. It began in a slow train making its way from London to Plymouth in 1998, three of the travelers having just completed an interesting but exhausting social policy conference. Most of the time was spent in inevitable moaning over the results of Thatcherite privatization of the railway system or, alternatively, in a keen conversation on the tourist attractions of Cornwall. However, a primary subject of discussion among the three was a paper submitted by one of them (Idit Weiss) on a comparative study of the attitudes of social work students in three countries undertaken with another of them (John Gal) and the suggestion by the final member of the company (John Dixon) that the study could serve as a basis for a more extensive global study. the remainder of this book is the result of that discussion, of the valuable contributions of national experts in ten different countries, and of an intense period of work under the auspices of the Governance of State-Society Interactions program now the Governance Research Centre—at the University of Plymouth. As is the case in any book, the editors were not the only individuals who contributed to the successful undertaking of the study and its ultimate publication. Apart from the national experts, all of whom wrote chapters, Dov Hareven provided very useful assistance in the statistical analyses. Our social work colleagues at Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of

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