ERG SES A, Invited Lecture
Professional social work began to develop at the end of the 19th century.
Since then, it has expanded in strong coherence with the idea of social disintegration, which emerged throughout the western world at about the same time. The concept of disintegration as a “social” phenomenon itself is deeply related to a historical process we usually call urbanization. Therefore, we can observe commonalities between social work and urbanity, as well as between the emergence of social work research and urban studies.
Nonetheless, for a long time social work research in Europe did not focus its interests on urbanity as an objective. Lately, however, there has been a turn. While for decades such theoretical entities as the national state and national policies provided the most important framework for both social work programs and the research on social work, we can now clearly identify an increasing reception of urban studies, particularly from the US. This goes along with a growing interest in transnational research programs.
In my talk, I will firstly give some examples regarding the continuous historical similarities between traditional social work research and urban studies. Secondly, I will present some latest examples of contemporary social work research that focuses on urbanity and transnational social work contexts. The aim is to draw some conclusions regarding the extent to which urban studies will continue to play an important part for future research on social work.
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