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Durham e-Theses
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An analysis of the development of social work education and social work 1869-1977: the making of citizens and super-citizens

Jones, Christopher (1979) An analysis of the development of social work education and social work 1869-1977: the making of citizens and super-citizens. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is concerned with identifying and analysing the major features underlying the development of British social work and social work education over the past century. It begins with a discussion of the clients of social work and examines the manner in which social work has emerged as one of the major regulatory strategies of the State concerned with specific 'problematic' sections of the working class : problematic to the State and capitalism because of their inability to contribute productively in the social system , and compounded by the high costs they incur through their dependency on social services. An appreciation of the clients of social work and the manner in which they have been defined as a social problem' is regarded as crucial for understanding the theories and methods of social work, and consequently the content of social work education. In this thesis an 'ideology of citizenship' has been posited as being central to social work practice and theory in this country. It is this ideology which provides the underpinning theme to the development of 'modern? social work since the time of the Charity Organisation Society, while at the same time it allows for the changes which have occurred during the past hundred years. Very briefly, it is an ideology of considerable sophistication which continues to emphasise those 'great' values of the bourgeoisie, self-help and self-reliance, and which attempts to impose a supra-historical consensus and commitment to the prevailing social system and so by achieve social solidarity and stability. Throughout the study a macro approach has been adopted in order to demonstrate the way in which social work's growth and development must be understood in terms of general social change including political, economic, ideological and social dimensions. Consequently, the thesis is critical of the prevailing style of social policy historiography, particularly in the area of social work where it has tended to ignore important political and social indices, preferring instead to focus narrowly on certain specific 'great moments or individuals' in the occupation's development. Finally, this study takes seriously the question of how contemporary capitalist societies set about the production of social control agents/ state officials - in this. specific instance social workers - who can be trusted and or regulated to undertake their allotted duties. Moreover, it draws attention to the manner in which regulatory activities such as social work, have to be and are flexible and capable of change in order to perpetuate and make more effective their role in a society where class divisions and conflicts, between as well as within classes, are endemic.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1979
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 10:29

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