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The New Global Definition of Social Work

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jefff3333
Words 3221
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The aim of this essay is to discuss the new global definition of social work, to assess the background of this research and to highlight the implications of this new definition to social work practice and development in Zambia and Africa at large. To begin with, the new definition will be given and explained then a discussion of its background and implications will be made. Finally, a conclusion will be drawn.
The new definition hopes to address three major criticisms of the prior definition. It attempts to be more inclusive of indigenous knowledge, to be less biased towards Western ideals of individualism and change, and instead to encompass collectivity, continuity and cohesion. Lastly, it endeavors to emphasize social work’s involvement in theory and research and its capacity as an academic discipline, in addition to its practical application. The links also include commentary and explanation for each aspect of the definition’s wording and the mandates, principles, knowledge and practice that undergird the social work profession (Kanyowa 1999)
Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge’s, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing (IBID).
Whether social work can be considered a fully-developed profession or remains a semi-profession has been debated throughout the last century (Toren, 1972; Greenwood, 1957; Hall, 1968; Hopps and Collins, 1995: 2266). Currently there are also those who consider that social work is a group of professions rather than a unitary entity.

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