Integrating Knowledge and Practice: The Case of Social Work and Social Science

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David John Tucker, Charles D. Garvin, Rosemary C. Sarri
Praeger, Jan 1, 1997 - Social Science - 351 pages
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As a profession that works directly to improve the human condition, social work has made a special effort to integrate social science knowledge with its methods for identifying and dealing with human problems. This book is about the relationship between the systematic study of human problems and actions to improve them. The group of experts do not provide practical instructions; they do not provide advice on how to conduct evaluation studies or how to solve the problem of homelessness. Instead, the contributors examine the questions and issues that arise, and the knowledge gained, when purposeful attempts are made to understand and solve human problems using the best available social science knowledge.

The issue of the integration of social work and the social sciences has not been examined in any depth in current research. The social sciences have evolved steadily through the years and social workers have increasingly relied on them--both substantively as well as in terms of research methodologies. In turn, social work has contributed to this dialogue by providing challenging research questions, in formulating critiques of social science theory and methodology, and in emphasizing the need to study social problems in their complex environments. The book's goal is to define how social work and the social sciences can continue to build on a clear sense of the issues and developments common to both.

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Promises and Problems
Three Views of the
Knowledge for Policy and Practice

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About the author (1997)

Tucker is Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

Charles D. Garvin, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at the School of Social Work of the University of Michigan. He is the author or coauthor of Contemporary Group Work, Interpersonal Practice in Social Work, Social Work in Contemporary Society, and Generalist Practice: A Task-Centered Approach, and the coeditor of The Handbook of Social Work Direct Practice and Integrating Knowledge and Practice: The Case of Social Work and Social Science, among other works. His current research focuses on the use of group work to reduce tensions among ethnic groups and to enhance the functioning of people suffering from severe mental illness.
Lorraine M. Gutierrez, PhD, is Professor at the School of Social Work and the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Her teaching and research focus on multicultural and community organization practice. Dr. Gutierrez's current projects include identifying methods for multicultural community-based research and practice, defining multicultural education for social work practice, and identifying effective methods for learning about social justice.
Maeda J. Galinsky, PhD, is Kenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has taught social group practice at the School of Social Work for about 40 years. Dr. Galinsky is co-principal investigator of the Making Choices Project, a program aimed at the prevention of violence in elementary school children. She is currently a board member of the International Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups.

ROSEMARY SARRI is Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan School of Social Work and Faculty Associate at the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.

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