This introductory chapter offers social work students at different levels and in different countries with a detailed sketch of how research finds a place in the wider social work picture. While scholars often claim a distinctiveness for their writing, the chapter aims to deal with questions that in their detail and also their relation to one another are rarely covered in the social work literature. Social work students are thus engaged in questions and issues in a form that will make for a professional community that is thoughtful, critical, and committed, yet also modest. The chapter shows how the book is not a research methods book at any level, nor is it solely about research, but rather about research as part of a larger picture.
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