Feminist Social Theory and Social Work
This chapter identifies the long-standing relationship between feminist social theory and feminist social work. It begins by outlining the development of feminist theory in a number of directions before exploring these in greater depth. The conceptual ideas and perspectives of theorists from a range of feminist traditions including liberal, Marxist-socialist, radical and post-structuralist feminism are explained in detail. The applied section of the chapter demonstrates the ways feminist social workers have sought to critically scrutinise the value and knowledge bases of social work as well as using them to inform mainstream social work practice. The chapter concludes by critically reflecting on the status of social work as a female-dominated profession in relation to the values and objectives of feminism more generally.