Advancing transformative eco-social change: Shifting from modernist to holistic foundations

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20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a reconciliatory, integrative and transformative way forward for addressing philosophical incongruities between the emerging foundations of eco-social work and inherent modernist assumptions underpinning conventional social work practice. Although modernity has enabled the profession to pursue certain freedoms, such as individual empowerment and self-determination, a modernist worldview is today critiqued for philosophical assumptions associated with the unsustainable use of Earth’s natural resources. By advancing transformative eco-social change, opportunities to broaden the profession’s conventional philosophical base to include holism and interdependence with the natural world will be explored. Implications centre on the need to incorporate perspective transformation and critical reflexivity, and to revise the framing of fundamental documents, such as codes of ethics, practice standards and education requirements. By integrating transformative eco-social change, social work can improve the capacity to develop a coherent and ethical response to ecological and social problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Social Work
Issue number2
Early online date10 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 03 Apr 2019


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