SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1.

Chu, W. C. K., Tsui, M., & Yan, M. (2009). Social work as a moral and political practice. International Social Work, 52(3), 287-298. doi:10.1177/0020872808102064

This article explores how the Global Standards for social work education and training emphasize human rights and social justice—the moral and political foundation of the profession—and argue for Western nations to recommit to these foundations in social work practice. 


  1. What are the moral dimensions of social work practice, according to the authors?  
  2. What is the role of critical self-reflection for social workers in realizing the social justice mission of the profession?  
  3. In what ways do social workers (today and throughout the profession’s history) engage in political practice?
  4. What has happened to the moral and political basis for contemporary social work in Western developed nations?  What do the authors recommend in response to these changes?  

Article 2. 

Kam, P. K. (2014). Back to the ‘social’ of social work: Reviving the social work profession’s contribution to the promotion of social justice. International Social Work, 57(6), 723-740. doi:10.1177/0020872812447118

In response to the trend toward individual change and therapeutic approaches, this article presents a theoretical and practice framework designed to resuscitate the “social” dimensions of social work. 


  1. What are the two broad traditions associated with the social work profession?  Describe the central features and focus of each traditions. 
  2. What is the basic concern of distributive justice?  How does distributive justice relate to social work?
  3. Describe one of the four explanations offered for why—and how—social work’s commitment to social justice and human rights has diminished over time. 
  4. How does the 6S framework proposed here aim to strengthen social work’s commitment to social justice?