CURRENT SOCIAL WORK IMPOSES NEW CHALLENGES: TWO APPROACHES AND A PARADIGM SHIFT
Volume 77, Issue 2 (2017), pp. 1–10
Pub. online: 19 April 2021 Type: Article Open Access
19 April 2021
19 April 2021
The present paper states that social work constitute at same time a political economy and a critical science. The presentation offers some alternative approaches to social work. Current social work faces resource inequality, vital inequality and existential inequality. These inequalities stem from structural and qualitative societal changes due to an aging population, long-term unemployment, globalization, technology developments, production advances, political conflicts as well as to individualization issues in the society. Consequently, social work’s old research approaches and practical strategies are now ineffective. Social work faces a crisis and must endure a “paradigm shift” to return to its standard science practice. By means of a new paradigm, it is possible to arrive at a novel type of ontopraxeology, at a different ontological and practical understanding of social work, which per se is poor in emphasizing personal service along with its ethical and moral aspects. Problems may be simplified and targeted at individuals and families, at the same time when social and individual lives become more complex. Hereafter, social work must perceive itself as an economic factor as well as a societal resource with political characteristics. By solving conflicts and increasing trust, social work increases social capital and furthers equality.