Primary objective of social work: social justice from rhetoric to practice through empowerment

Tarık Tuncay, Ercüment Erbay


This article discusses the relationship between social justice and social work in a theoretical framework which is structured on the basis of the empowerment approach. It is emphasized that as an academic discipline and also a profession, the primary objective of social work is to promote social justice. Throughout the development process from beginning to this time, connectedness of social work with social justice is analyzed through critical thinking. In every practice setting, both psychosocial improvement and development focus on the micro level and social change and policy practice focus on the macro level, social work requires a paradigm change to ensure the objective of social justice. To satisfy this requirement, both in an individual's subjective life, and in the process of meeting the needs of large part of a society, the paradigm of empowerment mainly focuses on solutions rather than problems and sees people as actors in their own lives and solutions. Consequently, it is emphasized that in various practice settings, from individual, group, family level to societal and policy practice level, professional practices which are structured on the basis of empowerment approach, will directly serve to the objective of social justice.


Social justice; empowerment; social work

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789