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Well-motivated reformists or nascent radicals: How do applicants to the degree in social work see social problems, their origins and solutions?

By Philip A. Gilligan

Abstract

NoThis article reports ways in which applicants to the Degree in Social Work see `social\ud problems¿, their origins and possible solutions to them. What is demonstrated is\ud that whilst applicants are concerned about a range of problems, those which could\ud be broadly classified as `anti-social behaviours by individuals or groups¿ predominate,\ud in contrast to those which could be defined as `aspects of the social structure\ud which have an adverse impact on individuals or groups¿. Applicants are much more\ud likely to suggest `individual¿ rather than `social¿ causes and are most likely to suggest\ud `liberal/reformist¿ solutions. It is argued, in the context of frame analysis, that\ud pre-existing views will usually impact strongly on how students respond to the\ud knowledge and challenges offered during training. The article aims to place discussion\ud within consideration of wider issues, particularly whether social work in Britain\ud can maintain its historic commitment to social justice and prevent itself becoming\ud an increasingly uncritical tool of the UK government¿s social authoritarianism.\ud Finally, it seeks to raise questions about whether social work education can assist\ud qualifying workers to develop and maintain resiliently radical approaches to practice,\ud which are also effective in bringing positive change to vulnerable and disadvantaged\ud people.This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Social Work following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version: Gilligan, Philip A. (2007). Well-motivated reformists or nascent radicals: How do applicants to the degree in social work see social problems, their origins and solutions? British Journal of Social Work, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 735-760, is available online at: http://bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/37/4/73

Topics: Social problems, Radical social work, Social work education, Student's views
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:bradscholars.brad.ac.uk:10454/2721
Provided by: Bradford Scholars

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