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Title: Human rights and social justice in social work education : a critical realist comparative study of England and Spain
Author: Martinez-Herrero, Maria Ines
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 6787
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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Social work´s emergence and historical evolution has been intertwined with evolving notions of human rights (HR) and social justice (SJ). These two principles permeate definitions of social work and codes of ethics for social work across the world, and the Global Standards for social work education promote human rights and social justice as unifying themes of the profession. Yet there is little understanding of how these themes are represented and transmitted to social work students in specific national contexts. This thesis explores understandings of HR and SJ among social work educators and the mechanisms used to transmit HR and SJ to social work students in two contrasting European countries, England and Spain. Using a critical realist framework, a web survey of social work educators and students was followed by qualitative interviews with educators in each country to identify opportunities and challenges in engaging with theories and practice implications of this HR and SJ based profession. The findings show that neoliberal ideology, which increasingly pervades higher education institutions and social work agencies in both England and Spain, places pressure on social work educators to convey narrow understandings of HR and SJ and adopt increasingly bureaucratic and distant relationships with students. The thesis brings to the fore the challenges experienced by social work educators and students in each country engaging with HR and SJ in social work curricula. But it also identifies key spaces for the promotion of a HR and SJ based social work and examples of resistance to neoliberal ideology in social work education. The thesis concludes that social work education at university degree level remains a fertile site for the deconstruction of, and development of resistance to, neoliberal ideology that threatens the HR and SJ basis of the social work profession.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available