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Social Work and Social Justice: A Structural Approach to Practice
Social Work and Social Justice: A Structural Approach rests on a fundamental dilemma facing social workers. On a daily basis social workers wrestle to provide personal and interpersonal help to people, yet many of the issues and problems they face are beyond the scope of their immediate influence, rooted as they are in broad social, economic, and...
Social Work and Social Justice: A Structural Approach rests on a fundamental dilemma facing social workers. On a daily basis social workers wrestle to provide personal and interpersonal help to people, yet many of the issues and problems they face are beyond the scope of their immediate influence, rooted as they are in broad social, economic, and political conditions. In many or even most situations, the hope for resolution to problems lies in a change to those conditions. Social Work and Social Justice: A Structural Approach begins by situating the social welfare state, social work, and the delivery of social services within the historical context of the evolution of the globalized capitalist economy. Moving from her analysis of the powerful socio-economic or "structural" forces that influence the social conditions that generate stress, deprivation, and other symptoms of individual problems, Colleen Lundy develops a "structural" approach to social work practice. In so doing she places emphasis on practice skills and strategies for working with individuals, families, groups, and communities, that at the same time present a process for change based on empowerment, critical consciousness, and the provision of concrete material resources. The book closes with a discussion of the working conditions faced by social workers and with the role of professional associations and unions in advancing social work practice. Throughout, Social Work and Social Justice draws on both traditional and radical social work contributions. It bridges a significant gap by developing a social justice/human rights approach to social work that aims for understanding immediate individual concerns and underlying social conditions, while laying out concrete social work practice skills. The book is essential reading for social work students and social work practitioners who are interested in responding to individual trauma/problems while supporting positive structural change and working toward a more just society.
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