Against social work values: their origins, nature and problems

John Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


‘Social work values’ are a feature of contemporary English social work and social work education that, over time, have become so established that they are now accepted with little questioning. This lack of reflection about social work values is probed, beginning with a historical excavation to reveal the background to their emergence from the social democratic welfare state, via critical and radical perspectives, and the process that led to their official embrace. After completing the historical excavation, the enduring influence of their historical origins is noted, their nature is interrogated and the problems they pose are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-337
Number of pages15
JournalCritical and Radical Social Work
Issue number3
Early online date21 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Sociology and Political Science


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