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date: 20 April 2024

Interdisciplinarity and Social Worklocked

Interdisciplinarity and Social Worklocked

  • Terry MizrahiTerry MizrahiHunter College, City University of New York
  •  and Yossi Korazim-KőrösyYossi Korazim-KőrösyZefat Academic College


Social workers have had a major role in participating in and promoting work with those in different disciplines and professions. Collaboration between social workers and those in other disciplines is essential given the complexity of sectors and settings in which the profession operates. Various terms have been used that have different meanings: multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinarity. Moreover, social work as well as other professions and applied disciplines also use the term interprofessional for cross-boundary collaborations. In multidisciplinary practice, social workers practice with those in other disciplines and professions but for the most part continue to pursue their own intervention aims. Interdisciplinarity links social work to other disciplines within complex domains of practice. It includes a blending and combining of those practices distinctive within each of the disciplines in pursuit of a common set of outcomes about an agreed upon social problem. It also requires the integration of knowledge and action, and the formation of a common agenda of practice, guided by compatible if not identical goals. Transdisciplinarity is the newest of the three terms. It connotes transformative outcomes that go beyond professional boundaries and include other stakeholders to effect particular change with real-world consequences. The lines among the three are blurred, mutable, and, at times, inconsistent, overlapping, and changing. Challenges and barriers remain, although opportunities have increased to move beyond monodisciplinary practice in all practice domains.


  • Macro Practice
  • Social Work Profession

Updated in this version

Content and references updated for the Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.

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