Social Work Theory And Practice

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A Discussion and Evaluation of the Usefulness of Sociology for Social Work Theory and Practice.

This essay defines, discusses and evaluates the theory and practice of sociology and its usefulness and application to social work and practice. The influences of a wide range of surrounding issues from, e.g. class, education, religion to culture and how they impact on social structure, e.g. with the family and the wider community will be researched and evaluated.

What is Sociology?
Sociology is defined as the study of an individual and institution within social relationships. Sociological themes are diverse and their significant impact on personal lives, societies and the world are assessed (Department of Sociology, 2018). The social …show more content…

Karl Marx, states ‘The oppressed are allowed once every few weeks to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them’ (Goodreads, nd).

From a Marxist perspective, social work starts from it being a vital share of the state apparatus and this strengthens the welfares of the ruling class. Marxists see social work as carrying out two key functions known as ‘Legitimation’ and ‘Accumulation’ (p. 19, Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008). Legitimation meaning that social work provides an ideological role that serves to keep their clients safe. Marxists claim that social work also achieves an ‘accumulation’ purpose as it discharges some of its ‘welfare’ purposes as it serves to increase profits, the issues are collated and enhanced due to e.g. circumstance. One example linking theory and practice is that social workers are fundamentally involved in supporting individuals with ‘the difficulties of living’ that may prevent them fulfilling duties as part of the workforce (p. 19, Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008). As stated by Jones and Novak (1999), ‘For many… Social Work remains as the last safety net. But it is a safety net with many holes, and one that comes at a high price.’ (p. …show more content…

When evaluating theories, they help professionals learn from past research in order to apply it to their own and practice. Each theory supports key issues in society e.g. origin, gender, socioeconomic background and how they can be applied to provide the best care and understanding of the diverse range of people needing help, support and understanding. Overall, sociological theories are useful for social work theory and practice as they introduce different approaches which connect to social work practice and prevent professionals identifying and negating bias, prejudice and lack of knowledge that might affect or endanger the care they offer to their clients.

Maslow states that before clients can be helped to change and adapt their behaviour, they need to be support as stated by Marxists and Feminists to understand who holds power before they can integrate into society. Functionality explains the role social workers have to be the voice, advocate change and improve self-awareness in order to effect change on the clients. Sociological theories can be applied to social work to strengthen and improve delivery and care by learning from the copious research done throughout human

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