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Social Theory for Social Work

Ideas and Applications

Social Theory for Social Work by Christopher Thorpe
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Trying to understand how the world looks through the eyes of different individuals and groups and how it shapes the ways they think and act is something social workers do all the time. It is what social theorists do too. This book identifies and explains in a highly accessible manner the absolute value of social theory for social work. Drawing on the theoretical ideas and perspectives of a wide range of classical and modern social theorists, the book demonstrates the insights their work can bring to bear on a wide range of social work practice scenarios, issues and debates.

Departing with the work of the classical theorists, the book covers a diverse range of theoretical traditions, including phenomenology, symbolic interactionism, Norbert Elias, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, feminism and globalization theory. Putting to work ideas from these different perspectives, a range of social work scenarios, issues and debates are opened up and explored. The final chapter brings together the various theoretical strands, and critically considers the contribution they can make towards realizing core social work values in a rapidly globalizing world.

Demonstrating exactly how and in what ways social theory can make important and enduring contributions to social work, Social Theory for Social Work is an essential read for social work students, practitioners and professionals alike.


Taylor and Francis; September 2017
186 pages; ISBN 9781135985585
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Title: Social Theory for Social Work
Author: Christopher Thorpe
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