Most social work research texts are written from an empiricist and positivist perspective, emphasizing the scientific method and the value of objectivity in research. While acknowledging that certain aspects of the scientific method should be preserved, Adje van de Sande and Karen Schwartz argue that social work research should not be value-free. Social work is committed to social justice and social change, and social work research needs to support that commitment. Research for Social Justice examines how the structural perspective and anti-oppressive principles — perspectives that view the problems experienced by people as rooted in the social, political and economic structures of society — provide this support. Aimed at social work students who are interested in exploring the structural approach to their community-based research, Research for Social Justice is also of benefit to social workers conducting research such as program evaluations and needs assessments, and all social science students engaged in social justice and community-based research.
About the Authors:
Adje van de Sande is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at Carleton University. His research interests and publications are in the areas of social work research, child and youth poverty andaboriginal child welfare. He is a Past President of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education and currently chairs the Educational Policy Committee of CASWE. Karen Schwartz is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at Carleton University. She currently teaches Research and Evaluation in Social Work.. Her research interests and publications are in the areas of community engaged research, international social work and mental health issues. She is involved on various university committees working to increase Carleton University’s involvement in community engaged research and service learning.