Hardwick, Louise and , Pat
Research and Critical Theory: Their Contribution to Social Work Education and Practice.
Social Work Education: The International Journal, 21
This paper analyses the pressures and contradictions facing research in social work and the position of critical theory in social work education and practice. The discussion draws from the authors' recent experiences of research in child protection. They argue that these experiences provide some unique opportunities to examine political, structural and social influences on research and on social work education and practice. The authors maintain that the connections between research, practice and education are not always interrogated critically in relation to being interactive and inter-dependent processes. However, this article argues that critical theory should be central in defining social work in research, education and practice and that when this focus slips, the primary purpose of social work - addressing need in the light of people's lived experience - is thwarted and distorted.