Originally published in 1968, Language of Social Casework considers the way in which social workers commonly neglect language. It is suggested that part of this neglect is due to the ways in which social workers and their critics envisage the activity of social work. The traditional criticisms of philanthropy and social work, are, therefore reviewed, and an attempt made to describe some common responses to them on the part of the practitioners. This is followed by an examination of two terms that are of some importance in the language of casework: the ‘generic-specific’ concept, and the idea of the ‘settings’ of casework. But casework is also described in terms borrowed from other ‘contexts: it is seen as ‘art’ or ‘science’, as a ‘therapy’ or the offer of ‘friendship’. Each of these descriptions is considered in the last two chapters of the book. The book also includes a brand new and fully updated preface by the author, contextualising this 1968 publication, in light of advancements made in the past 50 years.

chapter 1|10 pages


chapter 2|15 pages

Critics and practitioners

chapter 3|19 pages

Generic and specific

chapter 4|13 pages

Casework and its settings

chapter 5|18 pages

Social work as science or art

chapter 6|19 pages

The social worker as friend or therapist

chapter 7|4 pages


chapter |9 pages

Suggestions for further reading