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Rural social workInternational perspectives$
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Richard Pugh

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347213

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347213.001.0001

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Contexts of practice

Contexts of practice

(p.3) one Contexts of practice
Rural social work

Richard Pugh

Brian Cheers

Policy Press

This chapter reviews five dimensions that can be used to understand and analyse the diverse contexts in which rural social work is conducted: geography, demography (ethnicity and diversity, age structures, and family patterns), economy, political and structural dimensions, and community. In setting out these key dimensions, the chapter highlights features that will help rural workers to think about the nature of their own local contexts, and how these might impact upon the lives of the people and communities they serve. Although there is considerable variation within and between different countries, there are some common themes that can be usefully identified from the literature and the research on rural communities. These key dimensions can also influence how practice is planned, organised, funded, and delivered, and may be used comparatively to appreciate similarities and differences between rural contexts. The final part of the chapter reviews some of the different approaches to conceptualising and studying rural communities.

Keywords:   geography, demography, economy, community, rural communities, rural social work, ethnicity, diversity, age structures, family

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