Doing Critical Social Work

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More About This Title Doing Critical Social Work


Critical social work encourages emancipatory personal and social change. This text focuses on the challenge of incorporating critical theory into the direct practice of social workers and provides case studies and insights from a range of fields to illustrate how tensions and challenges can be effectively managed. Beginning with an outline of the theoretical basis of critical social work and its different perspectives, the authors go on to introduce key features of working in this tradition including critical reflection. Part II explores critical practices in confronting privilege and promoting social justice in social work, examining such issues as human rights, gender, poverty, and class. Part III considers the development of critical practices within the organizational context of social work including the fields of mental health, child and family services, within Centrelink, and prison settings. Part IV is focused on doing anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice in social work with particular populations including asylum seekers, Indigenous people, domestic violence survivors, older people, and lesbian, gay, and transgender groups. Finally, Part V outlines collectivist and transformative practices in social work and beyond, looking at environmental issues, social activism, the disability movement, and globalization.


Bob Pease is Professor of Social Work at the University of Tasmania. Sophie Goldingay is a senior lecturer in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University. Norah Hosken is a senior lecturer in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University. Sharlene Nipperess is a lecturer in Social Work at RMIT University.