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date: 07 October 2022

Political Social Worklocked

Political Social Worklocked

  • Suzanne PritzkerSuzanne PritzkerUniversity of Houston
  •  and Shannon R. LaneShannon R. LaneYeshiva University

Summary

Political social work navigates power in policymaking and politics to elicit social change. It is grounded in core social work values and ethics, including the professional responsibility to challenge systemic discrimination and institutional inequalities through political action. Political social workers address systemic barriers to social, political, economic, and racial justice, and engage in political action to promote individual and communal well-being through policy processes and outcomes. This article discusses the five domains of political social work: engaging individuals and communities in political processes; influencing policy agendas and decision-making; holding professional and political staff positions; engaging with electoral campaigns; and seeking and holding elected office. It also examines social workers’ political activity in the United States and globally, the role of social work education, and challenges for political social work, including the profession’s legacy of supporting injustices and tensions around the role of political social work, and identifies opportunities to address these barriers.

Subjects

  • Clinical and Direct Practice
  • Macro Practice
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Populations and Practice Settings
  • Social Justice and Human Rights

Updated in this version

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

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