Gordon versus the working definition: Lessons from a classic critique

Jerome C. Wakefield

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    The author critiques Gordon's influential analysis of the National Association of Social Workers'working definition of social work practice (WD). Gordon's critique contains well-founded objections leading to the elimination of the WD's method, purpose, and sanction components. However, Gordon's implied conclusion that social work can be defined by a broad value (i.e., self-realization) and a distinctive knowledge domain (i.e., social transactions) involves fundamental errors repeated in subsequent definitional attempts. Rather than being distinguished by a unique knowledge domain, social work, like other professions, must be defined by a value that is distinctive of the profession yet shared by all social work fields.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)284-298
    Number of pages15
    JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
    Volume13
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 1 2003

    Fingerprint

    Social Work
    social work
    profession
    self-realization
    sanction
    knowledge
    transaction
    social worker
    Values

    Keywords

    • Conceptual foundations
    • Definition
    • Knowledge base
    • Social work
    • Values

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Psychology(all)

    Cite this

    Gordon versus the working definition : Lessons from a classic critique. / Wakefield, Jerome C.

    In: Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 13, No. 3, 01.05.2003, p. 284-298.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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