Social work and social justice: what are we fighting for?

Solas, John (2008) Social work and social justice: what are we fighting for? Australian Social Work, 61 (2). pp. 124-136. ISSN 0312-407X


A cardinal value of social work practice is social justice. Social justice ranks as the second of five values that underpin the Code of Ethics of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). However, although social work's commitment to promoting social justice is laudable and, indeed, may even be a distinguishing feature of the profession, precisely what kind of social justice does social work espouse? The answer to this question remains unclear. Views about the nature and scope of social justice stem from broader conceptions of justice that not only differ from, but may also conflict with, each other. Therefore, it is important not only for social work to be clear about the type of social justice that it currently advocates, but also to ensure that it is one that the profession seeks to defend and maximise. It is argued that the choice must be as egalitarian as possible. Indeed, it must be radically so. Otherwise, what is social work fighting for?

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2008 Australian Association of Social Workers. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2014 05:27
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 05:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethics; egalitarianism; equality; equity; social justice; values; utilitarianism; Australia
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1607 Social Work > 160703 Social Program Evaluation
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220104 Human Rights and Justice Issues
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940116 Social Class and Inequalities
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/03124070801998384

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