Conceptualising Social Work Through the Lens of Transnationalism:

Challenges and Ways Ahead

Open access

Abstract

Professional social work was established and expanded in a historical moment marked by intense nation-building; it was organized along and in parallel with other welfare state services which functioned to strengthen the nation-state. Today social work is at practice in a society marked by intensified globalisation; social needs and social problems that social workers are confronted with in their professional practice are sometimes transnational in their dynamics and cannot adequately be understood when limited to a local or national context. Drawing on insights from the transnational perspective, this article identifies challenges and ways ahead in the development of social work practice and theory with relevance for the globalised society. It argues that the transnational perspective can contribute to the dissolving of binaries between both ‘here’ and ‘there’, and ‘us’ and ‘them’ in social work, and pave the way for approaching social problems from a relational viewpoint beyond ‘given’ territorial and ethnocultural lenses.

Abbott, G 1917, The immigrant and the community, The Century Co., New York.

Addams, J 1905, ‘Immigration. A field neglected by the scholar’, Commons, vol. 10, pp. 9-19.

Allardt, E 1987, ‘Svensk sociologi i ett nordiskt perspektiv’, in Om svensk sociologi. Historia, problem och perspektiv, ed K Fridjónsdóttir, Carlssons förlag, Stockholm, pp. 235-249.

Azzopardi, C &McNeill, T 2016, ‘From cultural competence to cultural consciousness. Transitioning to a critical approach to working across differences in social work’, Journal of Ethnic &Cultural Diversity in Social Work, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 282-99, DO I:10.1080/15313204.2016.1206494.

Basch, L, Glick Schiller, N &Szanton Blanc, C 1994, Nations unbound. Transnational projects, postcolonial predicaments, and deterritorialized nation-states, Gordon and Breach, Basel.

Beck, U 2000, ‘The cosmopolitan perspective. Sociology of the second age of modernity’, The British Journal of Sociology, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 79-105, DOI:10.1111/j.1468-4446.2000.00079.x.

Ben-Ari, A &Stier, R 2010, ‘Rethinking cultural competence. What can we learn from Levinas?’, British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, no. 7, pp. 2155-2167, DOI:10.1093/bjsw/bcp153.

Boccagni, P 2015, ‘(Super)diversity and the migration–social work nexus. A new lens on the field of access and inclusion?’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 608-20, DOI:10.1080/01419870.2015.980291.

Chambon, AS, Schröer, W &Schweppe, C 2011, ‘Introduction’, in Transnational social support, eds AS Chambon, W Schröer &C Schweppe, Routledge, London, pp. 1-10.

Daly, M &Rake, K 2003, Gender and the welfare state. Care, work, and welfare in Europe and the USA, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Dean, RG 2001, ‘The myth of cross-cultural competence’, Families in Society. The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, vol. 82, no. 6, pp. 623-630.

Dominelli, L 2010, ‘Globalization, contemporary challenges and social work practice’. International Social Work, vol. 53, no. 5, pp. 599-612, DOI:10.1177/0020872810371201.

Esping-Andersen, G 1990, The three worlds of welfare capitalism, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Faist, T 2013, ‘Debates and developments: the mobility turn. A new paradigm for the social sciences?’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 36, no. 11, pp. 1637-1646, DOI:10.1080/01419870.2013.812229.

Ferrera, M 2005, The boundaries of welfare. European integration and the new spatial politics of social protection, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Furman, R &Negi NJ 2007, ‘Social work practice with transnational Latino populations’, International Social Work, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 107-112, DOI:10.1177/0020872807072500.

Furman, R, Negi, NJ, Iwamoto, DK, Rowan, D, Shukraft, A &Gragg, J 2009, ‘Social work practice with Latinos. Key issues for social workers, Social Work, vol. 54, no. 2, pp. 167-174, DOI:10.1093/sw/54.2.167.

Furman, R, Negi, NJ &Salvador, R 2010, ‘An Introduction to Transnational Social Work’, in Transnational social work practice, eds. NJ Negi &R Furman, Columbia University Press, New York, pp. 3-19.

Furman, R, Negi, NJ, Schatz, MCS &Jones, S 2008, ‘Transnational social work. Using a wraparound model, Global Networks, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 496-503, DOI:10.1111/j.1471-0374.2008.00236.x.

Geldof, D 2011, ‘New challenges for urban social work and urban social work research’, European Journal of Social Work, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 27-39, DOI:10.1080/13691457.2010.516621.

Geldof, D 2016, Superdiversity in the heart of Europe, Acco, Leuven.

Glick Schiller, N &Çağlar, A 2009, ‘Towards a comparative theory of locality in migration studies. Migrant incorporation and city scale’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 177-202, DOI:10.1080/13691830802586179.

Glick Schiller, N &Cağlar A (eds.) 2011, Locating migration. Rescaling cities and migrants, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y.

Glick Schiller, N, Çağlar, A, &Guldbrandsen, TC 2006, ‘Beyond the ethnic lens. Locality, globality, and born-again incorporation’, American Ethnologist, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 612-633, DOI:10.1525/ae.2006.33.4.612.

Harrison, G &Turner, R 2011, ‘Being a ‘cultural competent’ social worker. Making sense of a murky concept in practice’, British Journal of Social Work, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 330-350, DOI:10.1093/bjsw/bcq101.

Haskell, TL 1977, The emergence of professional social science. The American social science association and the nineteenth century crisis of authority, University of Illinois, Urbana.

Healy, LM 2008, International social work. Professional action in an interdependent world, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Healy, LM &Link, RJ 2012, Handbook of international social work. Human rights, development, and the global profession, Oxford University Press, New York.

Healy, LM &Thomas, RL 2007, ‘International social work. A retrospective in the 50th year’, International Social Work, vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 581-596, DOI:10.1177/0020872807079916.

Hugman, R 2010, Understanding international social work. A critical analysis, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Iglehart, AP &Becerra, RM 2007, ‘Ethnic-sensitive practice. Contradictions and recommendations’, Journal of Ethnic &Cultural Diversity in Social Work, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 43-63, DOI:10.1300/J051v16n03_04.

Johnson, YM &Munch S 2009, ‘Fundamental contradictions in cultural competence’, Social Work, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 220-231, DOI:10.1093/sw/54.3.220.

Kazepov, Y (ed.) 2010, Rescaling social policies. Towards multilevel governance in Europe, Ashgate, Farnham.

Khagram, S &Levitt, P (eds.) 2008, The transnational studies reader. Intersections and innovations, Routledge, New York.

Khan, P &Dominelli, L 2000, ‘The impact of globalization on social work in the UK’, European Journal of Social Work, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 95-108, DOI:10.1080/714052817.

Kohli, HK, Huber, R &Faul, AC 2010, ‘Historical and theoretical development of culturally competent social work practice’, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 252-271, DOI:10.1080/08841233.2010.499091.

Kuhn, T 1962, The structure of scientific revolutions, University of Chicago, Chicago.

Levitt, P &Glick Schiller, N 2004, ‘Conceptualizing simultaneity. A transnational social field perspective on society’, International Migration Review, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 1002-1040, DOI:10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00227.x.

Lorenz, W 1994, Social work in a changing Europe, Routledge, London.

Lyons, K, Manion, K &Carlsen, M 2006, International perspectives on social work. Global conditions and local practice, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Lyons, K, Hokenstad, T, Manohar Pawar, M, Huegler, N &Hall, N (eds.) 2012, The Sage handbook of international social work, Sage, London.

Melander, C 2015, ‘Ensamkommande barn och transnationellt socialt arbete’, in Socialt arbete och migration, eds N Montesino &E Righard, Gleerups, Malmö, pp. 147-165.

Midgley, J 1983, Professional imperialism. Social work in the third world, Heinemann, London.

Midgley, J 2001. ‘Issues in international social work. Resolving critical debates in the profession’, Journal of Social Work, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 21-35, DOI:10.1177/146801730100100103.

Montesino, N 2012, ‘Social disability. Roma and refugees in Swedish welfare’, International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 134-145, DOI:10.1108/17479891211267320.

Negi, NJ &Furman, R (eds.) 2010. Transnational social work practice, Columbia University Press, New York.

Phillimore, J 2015, ‘Delivering maternity services in an era of superdiversity. The challenges of novelty and newness’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 568-582, DOI:10.1080/01419870.2015.980288.

Polanyi, K 1944, The great transformation. The political and economic origins of our time, Beacon Press, Boston.

Righard, E, 2009, ‘The family as a nation-state project in a global context. Implications for »social citizenship« and social welfare’, Zeitschrift für Sozialpädagogik, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 373-390, DOI:10.3262/ZFSP0904373.

Righard, E 2013, ‘Internationellt socialt arbete. Definitioner och perspektivval i historisk belysning’, Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 127-146.

Righard, E &Boccagni, P 2015, ‘Mapping the theoretical foundations of the social work–migration nexus’, Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 229-244, DOI:10.1068/15562948.2015.1035473.

Schrooten, M, Withaechx, S, Geldof, G &Lavent, M 2016, Transmigration. Social work in a world of superdiversity, ACCO, Leuven.

Sheller, M &Urry, J 2006, ‘The new mobilities paradigm’, Environment and Planning A, vol. 38, pp. 207-226, DOI:10.1068/a37268.

Thyer, BA 2006, ‘Faith-based programs and the role of empirical research’, Journal of Religion &Spirituality in Social Work. Social Thought, vol. 25, no. 3-4, pp. 63-82, DOI:10.1300/J377v25n03_05.

Urry, J 2000, Sociology beyond societies. Mobilities for the twenty-first century, Routledge, London.

Van Robaeys, B, van Ewijk, H &Dierckx, D 2018, ‘The challenge of superdiversity for the identity of the social work profession. Experiences of social workers in ‘De Sloop’ in Ghent, Belgium’, International Social Work, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 274-288, DOI:10.1177/0020872816631600.

Vertovec, S 2007, ‘Super-diversity and its implications’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 1024-1054, DOI:10.1080/01419870701599465.

Wagner, P, Hirschon, WC, Wittrock, B &Wollmann, H (eds.) 1991, Social sciences and modern states. National experiences and theoretical crossroads, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Williams, C (ed.) 2016, Social work and the city. Urban themes in 21st-century social work, Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Wimmer, A &Glick Schiller, N 2002, ‘Methodological nationalism and beyond. Nation-state building, migration and the social sciences’, Global Networks, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 301-334, DOI:10.1111/1471-0374.00043.

Wimmer, A &Glick Schiller, N 2003, ‘Methodological nationalism, the social sciences, and the study of migration. An essay in historical epistemology’, International Migration Review, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 576-610, DOI:10.1111/j.1747-7379.2003.tb00151.x.

Wisselgren, P 2000, Samhällets kartläggare. Lorénska stiftelsen, den sociala frågan och samhällsvetenskapens formering i Sverige 1830–1920, Symposium, Stehag.

Withaeckx, S, Schrooten, M &Geldof, D 2017, ‘Thinking and acting globally and locally. Developing transnational social work practices in Belgium’, Transnational Social Review. A Social Work Journal, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 143-157, DOI:10.1080/21931674.2017.1317198.

Yuval-Davis, N 2006, ‘Intersectionality and feminist politics’, European Journal of Women’s Studies, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 193-209, DOI:10.1177/1350506806065752.

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 139 139 36
PDF Downloads 161 161 36