To What Extent Can Social Work Be Adequately Conceptually Understood in Terms of a Position at the Interface Between Social Exclusion and Social Inclusion?

2351 Words Jan 21st, 2013 10 Pages
SCW 541

Contemporary Social Work Theory and Issues

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To what extent can social work be adequately conceptually understood in terms of a position at the interface between social exclusion and social inclusion?

To what extent can social work be adequately conceptually understood in terms of a position at the interface between social exclusion and social inclusion?

According to the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) the social work profession ‘promotes the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance wellbeing. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their
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, However, as Marxist theory distillates on class division, and is concentrated on the macro level only, this view of Social Work’s position at the interface of exclusion and inclusion is not conclusive. The Social Worker would be seen as working more in line with the ‘lumpenproletariat’ and not providing services to the ‘proletariat’ and certainly not the ‘bourgeoisie’, therefore places social work at the heart of the excluded and not the included. Moreover as social work from the Marxist perspective, is placed firmly within the macro level, the individualism and person centred approach that the social worker aims to provide the client cannot be fulfilled, as to do so would mean to be working at the micro level which the Marxist view discounts.
The Functionalist stance referencing the concept of social exclusion is to describe a group, or groups, of people who are excluded from the normal activities of their society in multiple ways, thus deviating from their societies ‘norms’ of behaviour (Sheppard, 2006). A functionalist perspective of social exclusion is, therefore, focussed upon the excluded persons being deviant and non- conforming to social norms. However, unlike the Marxist perspective, the Functionalist would concentrate on the social worker operational on the macro and the micro level, working with the individual,