The Routledge Handbook of Critical Social Work brings together the world’s leading scholars in the field to provide a cutting-edge overview of classic and current research and future trends in the subject.

Comprised of 48 chapters divided into six parts:

  • Historical, social, and political influences
  • Mapping the theoretical and conceptual terrain
  • Methods of engagement and modes of analysis
  • Critical contexts for practice and policy
  • Professional education and socialisation
  • Future challenges, directions, and transformations

it provides an authoritative guide to theory and method, and the primary debates of today in social work from a critical perspective.

This handbook is a major reference work and the first book to comprehensively map the wide-ranging territory of critical social work. It does so by addressing its conceptual developments, its methodological advances, its value-based front-line practice and as an influence on the policy field. By offering a definitive survey of current academic knowledge as it relates to professional practice, it provides the first comprehensive, up-to-date, definitive work of reference while at the same time identifying emerging, innovative and cutting-edge areas.

part I|58 pages

Historical, social and political influences

chapter 1|12 pages

Welfare words, neoliberalism and critical social work

ByPaul Michael Garrett

chapter 2|9 pages

Neoliberal relations of poverty and the welfare state

BySanford F. Schram

chapter 3|11 pages

Marxist social work

An international and historical perspective
ByTom Vickers

chapter 4|11 pages

Critical social work in the U.S.

Challenges and conflicts
ByMichael Reisch

chapter 5|13 pages

The rise of the global state paradigm

Implications for social work
ByPaul Stepney

part II|101 pages

Mapping the theoretical and conceptual terrain

chapter 6|11 pages

Critical theory and critical social work

ByEdward Granter

chapter 7|10 pages

Re-imagining social theory for social work

ByChristopher Thorpe

chapter 8|11 pages

Anarchism and social work

ByMark Baldwin

chapter 9|12 pages

Relational constructivism and relational social work

ByBjörn Kraus

chapter 10|10 pages

Extending Bourdieu for critical social work

ByStan Houston

chapter 11|11 pages

Why psychosocial thinking is critical

ByLiz Frost

chapter 12|11 pages

Feminist contributions to critical social work

ByViviene E. Cree, Ruth Phillips

chapter 13|11 pages

The politics of Michel Foucault

ByPaul Michael Garrett

chapter 14|12 pages

Resistance, biopolitics and radical passivity

ByStephen A. Webb

part III|69 pages

Methods of engagement and modes of analysis

chapter 15|8 pages

Critical race theory and social work

ByMonique Constance-Huggins

chapter 16|11 pages

Indigenous peoples and communities

A critical theory perspective
ByBrent Angell

chapter 17|12 pages

Postcolonial feminist social work

ByAnne C. Deepak

chapter 18|12 pages

Critical discourse analysis and social work

ByKaren D. Roscoe

chapter 19|12 pages

Controversy analysis

Contributions to the radical agenda
ByNatalia Farmer

chapter 20|12 pages

Narrative analysis and critical social work

BySam Larsson

part IV|93 pages

Critical contexts for practice and policy

chapter 21|11 pages

Green social work, political ecology and environmental justice

ByLena Dominelli

chapter 22|12 pages

Securitising social work

Counter terrorism, extremism, and radicalisation
ByJo Finch, David McKendrick

chapter 23|11 pages

Issues of ageing, social class, and poverty

ByMalcolm Carey

chapter 24|11 pages

Critical social work in the new urban age

ByCharlotte Williams

chapter 25|11 pages

Parents organizing a grassroots movement to reform child welfare

ByDavid Tobis

chapter 26|13 pages

Incorporating rurality into a critical ethics of intellectual disability care 1

ByLia Bryant, Bridget Garnham

chapter 27|10 pages

Neoliberal regimes of welfare in Scandinavia

ByEdgar Marthinsen

chapter 28|12 pages

Performativity and sociomaterial becoming

What technologies do
ByLucas D. Introna

part IV|110 pages

Critical contexts for practice and policy

chapter 29|12 pages

Challenging scapegoating mechanisms

Mimetic desire and self-directed groupwork
ByStan Houston, Stephen Coulter

chapter 30|10 pages

Vulnerability and the myth of autonomy

ByIan Cummins

chapter 31|12 pages

Foodbanks, austerity and critical social work

BySarah Pollock

chapter 32|11 pages

Ageing, veterans and offending

Challenges for critical social work
ByPaul Taylor, Jason Powell

chapter 33|18 pages

“Do you really want this in front of a judge?”

Age assessment with unaccompanied refugee children
ByCalum Lindsay

chapter 34|11 pages

Toward a multispecies home

Bedbugs and the politics of non-human relations
ByHeather Lynch

chapter 35|11 pages

Adoption, child rescue, maltreatment and poverty

ByJune Thoburn, Brigid Featherstone

chapter 36|12 pages

Critical debates in child protection

The production of risk in changing times
ByEmily Keddell, Tony Stanley

chapter 37|11 pages

LGBT issues and critical social work

ByUrban Nothdurfter

part V|73 pages

Professional education and socialisation

chapter 38|12 pages

Promoting activism and critical social work education

ByChristine Morley

chapter 39|13 pages

Social work education and the challenge of neoliberal hegemony

ByJane Fenton

chapter 40|11 pages

Embedding critical reflection across the curriculum

ByFiona Gardner

chapter 41|11 pages

Contesting doxa in social work education

ByLiz Beddoe

chapter 42|12 pages


Understanding approaches to critical practice
ByCynthia J. Gallop

chapter 43|12 pages

Responding to neoliberalism in social work education

A neo-Gramscian approach
ByJohn Wallace, Bob Pease

part VI|63 pages

Future challenges, directions and transformations

chapter 44|12 pages

Reprioritising social work practice

Towards a critical reconnection of the personal and the social
ByPeter Beresford, Suzy Croft

chapter 45|13 pages

Responding to political polarization

The new social work radicalism
ByIain Ferguson

chapter 46|13 pages

Popular social work

ByMichael Lavalette

chapter 47|11 pages

Challenging harmful political contexts through activism

ByLinda Briskman

chapter 48|12 pages

Imperialism, colonialism and a Marxist epistemology of ‘critical peace’

ByVasilios Ioakimidis, Nicos Trimikliniotis