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Key concepts and theory in social work

Hodgson, David author

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Creator David Hodgson and Lynelle Watts
  • Format Books
  • Contributors
  • Publication London : Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. ©2017
  • Physical Details
    • xv, 282 pages ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9781137487834, 1137487836
  • OCLC ocn969829418


  • Social work is a discipline committed to social justice and human rights, and to improving the well-being of individuals, families, communities and societies. But the world is changing, with environmental disasters, an increase in violent conflict and the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis impacting negatively on human and ecological well-being. Social workers are often working at the forefront of these and other challenging situations, and they must apply knowledge and skills to their practice in a thoughtful and ethical way. What kind of knowledge and skills will social workers need to succeed in this intellectually and emotionally demanding job? Broad-ranging in scope and depth, this highly readable text introduces readers to the key concepts in social work - such as empathy, reflective practice and notions of risk - and provides both a focus on the theory and research literature that informs each one, and an examination of how each will aid practitioners in their day-to-day work. With the help of engaging practice examples that contextualise the topics under discussion, the book also draws on ideas and literature from other disciplines - including philosophy, sociology and psychology - in order to promote the open-mindedness and depth of understanding required for practice with people from all walks of life. An accessible text that brings all of the major social work concepts together in one place, Key Concepts and Theory in Social Work is an essential book for students and practitioners alike.


  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 243-277) and index.


  • 1. Introduction.-- 2. Theory and Practice.-- 3. Risk.-- 4. Power.-- 5. Poverty and Disadvantage.-- 6. Difference.-- 7. Respect and Dignity.-- 8. Social Justice and Fairness.-- 9. Human Rights.-- 10. Spirituality and Hope.-- 11. Organisational Contexts.-- 12. Empathy.-- 13. Professional Judgement and Decision-Making.-- 14. Assessment.-- 15. Reflexivity, Reflective Practice and Critical Reflection
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