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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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Mapping social work research

Mapping social work research

(p.61) Four Mapping social work research
Research and the Social Work Picture

Ian Shaw

Policy Press

This chapter provides an overview about the actual research that takes place in social work. It suggests that social work research should be distinguished in terms of the primary substantive focus of the research and the primary problem focus. The chapter illustrates this through research by university-based researchers, service-user researchers, and practitioner researchers, while considering differences associated with the gender of social work researchers. It also shows how the process of ‘mapping’ inevitably requires some degree of simplification and reductionism. The success with which the intent of the mapping is accomplished rests in the extent to which the user — in cartographic terms, the percipient — understands, and is able to assess and engage with its purposes.

Keywords:   social work, research, mapping, simplification, reductionism, primary substantive focus, primary problem focus

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