Towards an epistemology of social work – Lessons from the European history of an uncertain discipline
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This chapter outlines the dynamic relations with the various social, cultural and political contexts which characterise social work as a profession and as an academic discipline. The renewed intensification of international contacts and exchanges in Europe, promoted by the various networks which ECCE helped to establish, demonstrates the benefits of recognising the specificity of social work’s epistemology as being embedded in these tensions. This perspective offers the possibility of engaging more critically with both the social policies that seek to instrumentalise social work and to affirm the academic autonomy of the various disciplines in which social work gets framed as a means of challenging the restrictive positivism of the current dictate of “evidence”.