Towards a new consciousness of 'environment' for the social work profession: Perceptions of a sample of environmentally-conscious social workers in Australia

Jennifer McKinnon

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

This thesis explores the relevance of the natural environment to social work. Although social work has a body of theory for practice known as ecological social work, ecological' has in effect referred to the socio-cultural environment and has largely ignored the natural world context in which social work practice takes place. A review of the social work literature indicates very little evidence of engagement with the topics of sustainability or environmental issues for social workers, and there is scant attention paid to these issues in accredited social work courses in Australia. Thus the research problem which this thesis addresses is: In what ways, if any, are nature and the broad environmental context of humanity relevant to the profession of social work?' Through addressing this question, the thesis sheds light on the reasons why the social work profession and social workers in the Western world have by and large ignored natural environment issues and imperatives in social work education and practice.The main objectives of this thesis are to ascertain the views of environmentally-conscious social workers about the relevance of the natural environment to social work; to explore factors that enable or constrain social workers' efforts to enact pro-environmental values and issues in practice; and to suggest possible ways of addressing environmental problems and issues in social work education and practice. The study applied a qualitative research framework, informed by grounded theory and feminist principles.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Pawar, Manohar, Co-Supervisor
  • Gray, Ian, Co-Supervisor
  • Alston, Margaret, Principal Supervisor
Award date01 Dec 2018
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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