On Social Theory In Social Work Essay
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We realize where we have been, where our company is now and where we must go – but how do we get there? A map. Theory is a map. It paperwork any number of well-known landmarks (previously achieved or applied solutions) and road blocks (issues or problems) and share us direction so that we are able to navigate smartly and appear safely (minimal discomfort to all) for our vacation spot (desired outcome/s).
Theory can be an attempt to clarify the unusual, to give subject to the untitled and to offer reason to the unreasonable. This can be a combination of existing knowledge and newly obtained knowledge that allows us to make presumptions in order to realise reasonably not far off outcomes. It is only in the area of science, physics and mathematics that the repeated application of just one theory is going to return a consistent result consistently. However , inside the social operate disciplines, the repeated application of a single theory may very well result in chaos and mayhem credited simply to digging in the inconsistencies and subjectiveness of human behaviour – individual realism and personality.
Mix world with the specific then put in a third element – power (political, monetary, etc) and also you end up with a chameleonic and metamorphosis-like consequence, what I make reference to as the ‘lava light effect’ – constant transform, confusion, tangentiality, shifts in personal, personal and societal values and meanings. Theory is the automobile of bringing order and making feeling of all these items. That an individual on one celebration might respond to certain stimuli in a particular fashion, is no predictor from the individual’s (micro level) answers to the same or just like stimuli about subsequent situations and is certainly not an indication the fact that ‘collective’ (macro level) can respond very much the same.
It is not easy for one person to comprehend the world while perceived by another person. The closest we are able to come to this is to use our personal imagination and compare our very own experiences like a guide – empathy. Enter in theory.
Theory gives us the launching pad to use it. It is a single starting point for all those social work practitioners in spite of their individual methodological preferences. Howe (1987, p48) states, “The noisy claim is the fact practice is definitely saturated with theory no matter how much the social employee speaks of [their] simple reliance about commonsense or perhaps intuition. Every theory as well as associated practice holds assumptions about persons and their world ……. “. However , theory still remains our most beneficial agent in facilitating acceptable if certainly not positive outcomes.
The nature of sociable work is at a constant condition of debordement and what was suitable or perhaps successful recently may not be today although previous theories still have a valid place in our reckoning. There is a frequent flow of recent and more sophisticated issues introducing themselves to society every single day and more often than not, theory is definitely the only tools available to all of us as a means of sourcing solutions.
When talking about how theories are used in practice, Payne (1997, p48) claims; “There are three approaches to this task: applying theories to interrogate, explain and criticise each other, using theories selectively, and applying theories with each other to modify each other” and Lemert (1999, p20) declares “Social theory is what we all do once we find ourself able to put in words what nobody generally seems to want to about”. Further, Mullaly (2002, p3) cites Reynolds (1971) “Theory conducts four fundamental functions: description; explanation; conjecture; and control and management of situations or alterations ………it details phenomena; it attempts to clarify what causes them; it predicts future events, including what to you suppose will happen if particular interventions take place (or do not occur); and attempts to regulate and control events or perhaps changes at all levels of man activity”.
Theory also has it is place in supplementing existing knowledge – completing the blanks as it were. There is no divorcing theory coming from experience nor from assumption as these two things are the interminably prime ingredients of theory. In order to build a theory we should draw upon our own or others’ knowledge basics, experiences and assumptions – no various other source/s exist/s. Whilst many would agree that theory is generally the basis for try things out, quite often the reverse is true – experiment as the foundation of theory! There once existed a theory that technological advancements would eventually result in a lowering of the quantity of skilled traders required.
This theory therefore required that generally there be a decrease in the numbers of (government subsidised) trade apprenticeship places – a huge price saving work out, an economic great! However , we now have since learned that this theory was integrated without a immense amount of thought regarding the possible problems – the ones from higher youngsters unemployment (increased welfare bill), a much crisper decline in the number of competent tradesmen to adequately assistance the community (have you ever before tried to get hold of a plumber or perhaps electrician in an emergency? ), and a steep embrace the cost for the consumer (community) in using those afflicted trade providers.
Some would also believe the lowering of apprenticeship spots would have written for increases in numerous crimes and so further unneeded cost to the community and taxpayers. A more recent theory is that of children in detention centres. A lot of schools of thought insisted that keeping children in detention was senseless and cruel and they should be satisfied into regional communities.
Other folks viewed this train of thought to be reminiscent of the ‘stolen generation’ and further theorised that it was incorrect to separate your children from their father and mother and therefore the mother and children should be satisfied into the community with frequent visits towards the father whom should remain in detention. There were still further disagreement that cultural matters had not been considered for the reason that further or other yet foreseen complications may result simply by isolating the daddy from the relatives unit. Each discourse the following is based simply on theory but it stimulates discourse that seeks resolutions. A good thing.
Only some theory is good and neither is it all poor, it is merely a helpful step towards finding resolutions where none has previously existed to cope with issues and problems in society always be they real or perceived. As can become ascertained from just a little collection of readings, even theorists differ broadly in their understanding and applications of theory. Every ‘-ist’ of each ‘-ism’ thinks that their particular approach is far more beneficial than patients of the other folks. Whether they know about it or not, even those sociable work experts who would underrate the benefits of the use of theory in their practice, preferring instead to rely on their particular intuition and experience, remain employing theory – empirically.
References Howe, D., 1987, An Introduction to Social Operate Theory; Making Sense in Practice, Wildwood Residence. Lemert, C., 1999, Interpersonal Theory, Second Edition; The Multicultural and Classic Readings, MacMillan Press Ltd, Victoria. Mullaly, N., 2002, Demanding Oppression; A Critical Social Job Approach, Oxford University Press.
Payne, M., 1997, Modern Social Operate Theory, Second Edition, PALGRAVE, N. Con.