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

Article


Solas, John. 2008. "Social work and social justice: what are we fighting for? " Australian Social Work. 61 (2), pp. 124-136. https://doi.org/10.1080/03124070801998384
Article Title

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

ERA Journal ID34191
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorSolas, John
Journal TitleAustralian Social Work
Journal Citation61 (2), pp. 124-136
Number of Pages13
Year2008
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
ISSN0312-407X
1447-0748
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/03124070801998384
Abstract

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?

Keywordsethics; egalitarianism; equality; equity; social justice; values; utilitarianism; Australia
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440903. Social program evaluation
500104. Human rights and justice issues (excl. law)
441005. Social theory
Public Notes

Copyright 2008 Australian Association of Social Workers. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.

Byline AffiliationsFederation University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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