Looking for ‘social work’ in school social work
2016 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 19Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
School social workers can be seen as a professional group operating on the margin of an educational logic that dominates schools as institutions. This conditions what tasks they are assigned and what aspects of social work knowledge they will find relevant. On the other hand, the role as a sole professional and relative outsider in the organization provides a potential for school social workers to transcend established theories of social work practice. This article aims to investigate how social work theory is applied in school social work. Twelve semi-structured interviews with school social workers were analysed in terms of how they relate to four knowledge approaches derived from the literature: task-centred, systems theory, strengths and anti-oppressive. Contrary to claims within the sociology of professions that social work practice is formed largely by organizational context rather than a discipline-specific knowledge base, the interviewees seemed to lean on a robust professional foundation within social work theory. Interviewees strongly emphasised their role as working for the individual pupil and positioned themselves as somewhat in opposition to a somewhat oppressive school environment.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 19
school social work, counseling, practice theory, knowledge use
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-127188DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2016.1188775OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-127188DiVA: diva2:1044076