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Social work and social policy in the United States have always had a complex and troubled relationship. In The Altruistic Imagination, John H. Ehrenreich offers a critical interpretation of their intertwined histories, seeking to understand the problems that face these two vital institutions in American society.

Ehrenreich demonstrates that the emphasis of social work has always vacillated between individual treatment and social reform. Tracing this ever-changing focus from the Progressive Era, through the development of the welfare state, the New Deal, and the affluent 1950s and 1960s, into the administration of Ronald Reagan, he places the evolution of social work in the context of political, cultural, and ideological trends, noting the paradoxes inherent in the attempt to provide essential services and reflect at the same time the intentions of the state. He concludes by examining the turning point faced by the social work profession in the 1980s, indicated by a return to casework and a withdrawal from social policy concerns.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. 9-18
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  1. 1 The Origins of American Social Policy
  2. pp. 19-42
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  1. 2 Casework and the Emergence of Social Work as a Profession
  2. pp. 43-77
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  1. 3 The Construction of the Welfare State
  2. pp. 78-101
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  1. 4 The Crisis in Social Work, 1929-1945
  2. pp. 102-138
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  1. 5 Social Policy in the Affluent Society, 1945-1960
  2. pp. 139-157
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  1. 6 Kennedy, Johnson, and the Great Society
  2. pp. 158-186
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  1. 7 A House Divided: The Second Crisis in Social Work, 1960-1 980
  2. pp. 187-208
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  1. 8 The Next Phase
  2. pp. 209-233
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 234-264
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 265-271
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780801471230
Related ISBN
9780801417641
MARC Record
OCLC
966824716
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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