Social Work and Social Justice: Concepts, Challenges, and Strategies

Social Work and Social Justice: Concepts, Challenges, and Strategies

Social Work and Social Justice: Concepts, Challenges, and Strategies

Social Work and Social Justice: Concepts, Challenges, and Strategies

Synopsis

Social Work and Social Justice emphasizes the importance of social justice work, vividly illustrates the complexity of this work, and discusses how social workers can negotiate the practical and ethical challenges involved. Unlike many books on the subject, it integrates a diverse array of approaches to social justice, thereby promoting critical thinking and underscoring the value of utilizing various perspectives in one's practice. Distinguishing features of this book include: emphasis on the complementary nature of socially just goals and processes; well-developed case examples; multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural, and international perspectives; a clear exposition of principles and skills of socially just practice; and the use of diverse cultural materials from different media to illustrate the concepts presented. This text is largely based on the authors' extensive teaching and practice experience in a wide variety of fields - both in the U.S. and internationally - and on their research on such varied topics as welfare reform, mental health, social work practice theory, social work values and ethics, and the history and philosophy of social welfare and social work. Social Work and Social Justice is an essential resource for undergraduate and graduate students/faculty, as well as social work/human services practictioners.

Excerpt

The code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers has established the pursuit of social justice as one of the core values of the profession. Similarly, the curriculum guidelines of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) require all social work programs to educate their students to overcome social and economic injustice and combat oppression. Despite this powerful social justice rhetoric, there is still considerable confusion and ambiguity about how to translate these values into practice. Few texts today provide guidance regarding the practical and ethical challenges involved.

In fact, most social work literature that addresses the issue of social justice emphasizes the amelioration or eradication of injustice. the knowledge and skills to achieve this goal, however, are necessary but insufficient tools to create a more socially just world. Both history and contemporary events demonstrate that socially just ends cannot be realized and sustained unless they are achieved through socially just means. a distinguishing feature of this book, therefore, is its emphasis on the complementary nature of socially just goals and processes.

This book is our attempt to fill this gap in a creative way by conveying the importance of social justice work, illustrating its complexity, and discussing how to negotiate the challenges involved. We have tried to go beyond a presentation of abstract social justice concepts and goals to include illustrations of practices that produce socially just results through the use of socially just means at the interpersonal, organizational, community, and societal levels.

Because of the cswe mandate that social work curricula focus on the implementation of social justice, this book can be used either as a text or as a major resource for courses that focus on social work practice at the Master of Social Work (MSW) and advanced Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) level, particularly practice courses taught in the foundation (first year) curriculum. Alternately, the book could be used in courses on multiculturalism or diversity in which social justice content is increasingly seen as critical. in addition, the book could be used as a supplementary text for courses on social policy, policy practice, or human . . .

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