Critical theory and social work

Historical context and contemporary manifestations

Authored by: Kenneth McLaughlin

The Routledge Handbook of Social Work Theory

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780415793438
eBook ISBN: 9781315211053
Adobe ISBN:


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Throughout its history social work has been influenced by the wider socio-political environment within which it is located: from the Charity Organisation Society (COS) and the moral reformers of the 19th and 20th centuries, the eugenics policies of the early 20th century and the welfarism of the mid to late 20th century to the neoliberal managerialism of the present day. A cursory glance at these developments shows the influence of various political ideologies, from the left, right and middle ground of British politics.

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