An exploration of the constructs of social justice in the Australian social work discourse

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This is followed by an exploration of the Australian political discourse, as it has been a major influence on how social justice has been, and is, expressed in Australia and because it plays a significant role in shaping the Australian social work discourse. This leads into an exploration of the Australian social work discourse involving consideration of its relationship to the Australian political discourse and the identification of the constructs of social justice employed by Australian social workers. xii The research produces a number of findings. Firstly, there is no evidence of an historical relationship with, and commitment to, social justice, Secondly, there is a diversity of views held by social workers as to what social justice is and its role in society. Thirdly, social workers' understanding of social justice, with some exceptions, is lacking in definition and in application is limited to social work clients. Fourthly, social workers confuse ethics and values, and finally, social workers' expressions of social justice have become more individualised and contextualised, demonstrating the influence of neo-liberalism upon the social work discourse. The thesis concludes by proposing a model of social justice, in keeping with social work values, for all of society, which addresses social exclusion and inequality and at the same time promotes active citizenship, participation, social cohesion and social capital.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Alston, Margaret, Principal Supervisor
  • Bowles, Wendy, Co-Supervisor
Award date01 Apr 2005
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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