Embodying Social Work as a Profession: A Pedagogy for Practice




Nsonwu, Maura B.
Casey, Kathleen
Cook, Sharon Warren
Busch-Armendariz, Noël

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The purpose of this research is to highlight competing and contrasting definitions of social work that have been the subject of continuous ideological debate. These opposing interpretations have characterized public and professional discourse. It is the growth of, and struggle over, these conflicting versions of social work that we trace by exploring and expanding on the work of African American and White social work pioneers, feminist and empowerment epistemologies, and implications for social work practice and pedagogy. Our discussion emphasizes the construction of meaning through personal experiences by reuniting the head, hands, heart, and soul of our profession. We offer a reconstructed framework that echoes the groundbreaking work of our historical pioneers and collectively weaves their wisdom into contemporary social work practice.


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Nsonwu, M. B., Casey, K., Cook, S. W., & Busch-Armendariz, N. B. (2013). Embodying social work as a profession: A pedagogy for practice. SAGE Open. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244013503835