A transformative eco-social model: Challenging modernist assumptions in social work

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Abstract

This paper argues for transformative eco-social change in social work to address the profession's most challenging paradox-inherent modernist roots that contradict the philosophical base of practice. The dual dependency between the welfare state and industrial capitalism brings to light the profession's role in sustaining modernism and inadvertent contribution to the misuse of nature. In the context of an accelerating global environmental crisis that disproportionately affects the world's poorest, an environmentally sensitive approach to practice has never been more important. Using an ecologically centred approach, this paper aims to address the profession's paradox by conceptualising an eco-social model that is congruent across the ontological (being), epistemological (thinking) and methodological (doing) dimensions of practice. By adopting a distinct philosophical base that emphasises holism and inter-dependence, social work can build a consistent philosophical base and promote transformative change towards a more sustainable environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-67
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume47
Issue number1
Early online dateNov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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