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A Comparative Analysis of Social Services Organizations in Sweden and China. Lessons for Social Work and Social Development Practice
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5867-234X
Shandong University, Jinan, China.
2016 (English)In: SWSD 2016: Program book, Seoul, 2016Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The presentation covers a comparative analysis of social services organizations in Sweden and China, which includes lessons for social work and social development practice.

The presentation describes how social services organizations in Sweden and China have developed since the 1970s, as well as their current state. This is followed by an analysis of these country's social services organizations, which focus on main advantages and disadvantages, for social workers and service users/clients. In conclusion, we present lessons for social work as well as the social development practice. The presentation is based on our own empirical research and a review of previous research in this area.

Sweden is one of the world’s most developed welfare states and has had publicly organized social services, on a municipal level, since the 1950s. China has not had well-developed and modern systems of social welfare and social service. Moreover, the traditional social welfare system in China, formed during the planned economy era (1953-1978), is not adequate for the modern China. However, China is currently developing a welfare system with publicly organized social services. The Chinese transformation project is partly inspired from other countries, including Sweden.

The presentation includes a discussion of two common assumptions: 1) that social services organizations in western welfare states have been developed optimally, and that non-welfare states only need to copy them to obtain well-functioning social services, and 2) that welfare states like Sweden have little to learn from countries like China, concerning social services organizations. We argue that these assumptions are incorrect, e.g. by showing that social services organizations are not universally appropriate, and that such organizations cannot be detached from the culture and mentality in a country. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Seoul, 2016.
Keyword [en]
Social Services Organizations Sweden China Comparative Analysis
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123518OAI: diva2:946259
Joint world conference on social for, education and social development, June 27-30, 2016, COEX, Seouls, Korea
Available from: 2016-07-04 Created: 2016-07-04 Last updated: 2016-07-04

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