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Research and the Social Work Picture$
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Ian Shaw

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447338895

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447338895.001.0001

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Why do research in social work?

Why do research in social work?

(p.25) Two Why do research in social work?
Research and the Social Work Picture

Ian Shaw

Policy Press

This chapter distinguishes different ways scholars can understand the purpose of social work research, giving examples from the literature. Having recognised a range of appropriate purposes for doing research, it considers the consequence of this for how scholars deal with the tensions between these purposes. From there, the chapter considers how the presence of multiple purposes, sometimes in tension with one another, raises the question of how the purposes of social work research are, or should be, taken forward by collaborative, cooperative work. While collaboration may seem an obvious virtue, its achievement is not straightforward. One of the difficulties stems from how best to understand the relationship between social work in the academy and social work in the outside world.

Keywords:   social work, research, multiple purposes, collaboration, cooperative work, academy

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