Marxist social work: an international and historical perspective

Vickers, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-5430-290X, 2019. Marxist social work: an international and historical perspective. In: S.A. Webb, ed., Routledge handbook of critical social work. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 24-34. ISBN 9781138578432

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The relationship of Marxism to social work is highly contested and contradictory. Tavares (2013) suggests that social work and Marxism might be considered intrinsically connected and/or diametrically opposed, because both share a concern with the ‘social question’ but social work has often been involved in managing the contradictions of capitalism and thereby sustaining it. This is further complicated by disputes over what 'Marxism' means. The English-language literature on Marxist social work is mostly limited to the ‘Radical Social Work’ (RSW) tradition, and the experience of socialist countries is neglected. For example Strug (2006) observes the almost total absence in the international social work literature of “information about Cuban social work, the changes it has undergone, or its relevance for the international social work community” (p. 750). Filling the gaps in the literature is a huge task, beyond the scope of this chapter. Instead this chapter outlines some key features of Marxism as it relates to social work, and offers examples of Marxist social work within the varying contexts of capitalist states, popular movements, and socialist states. The chapter is informed by a review of historical and contemporary literature, building on Vickers (2015).

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Vickers, T.
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: Abingdon
Date: 2019
ISBN: 9781138578432
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 22 Jan 2019 16:20
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 03:00

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