About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3697-3705
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0708

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

SOCIAL WORK SCIENCE: CONVERGENCE OF THE ABSTRACT MIND AND THE SITUATED COGNITION TOWARD FIXING THE GAP ON SOCIAL WORK

S. Mendes1, J. Ferreira2

1ISCTE-Institute University of Lisbon / UTAD-University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
2ISCTE-Institute / University of Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
This paper is the result of a Ph.D International research in Social Work (SW). It addresses a broad overview of what SW is as a science and its tendencies both in the academic and in the research field. It aims to present an understanding of a perspective of ontology and epistemology of SW, which searches to solve the existing gap between theory and practice that we can find if we follow either a interpretativist approach, or just a positivist one.
The objectives of the research were i) to understand the influence of SW history in the professional and academic/scientific field; ii) to analyze and describe scientific approach of SW; iii) to predict what can be SW in the future and what it should be.
To accomplish these objectives the study follows a perspective of the Critical Realism epistemology. Three case studies were studied and analysed through a participant observation of the international SW scientific life; a realization of in depth interviews to the directors of SW Ph.D programs in three different universities in Portugal, Spain and USA, and also to SW researchers; and a content analysis of more than 300 scientific papers of SW published by SW professors and researchers to identify the epistemologies, methodologies, theories and values of SW research. For this content analysis, we used Atlas.ti qualitative data analysis software which was an important tool to build relationships between concepts.
Conclusions are in accordance with a new starting point to further research about the framework of SW as a social science which is also an applied science. As the first conclusion and starting from a feminist and critical approach about the academic and scientific development of the history of SW, it's possible to understand that women leadership continues to have a major influence on the legitimation of SW as a profession and also as a practical social science.
As a second conclusion we were able to understand that the professional/scientific crisis of SW can be explained on one hand through its own history in each country, but also as the result of a global society which needs to improve and develop a new kind of social, professional and scientific answers. The idea of a new understanding of science is discussed drawing attention to the relation of SW and social sciences. Effectively, SW as a social science must assume its transdisciplinary dimension which makes it a social science with plural aims and its own singularities, these ones understood as the convergences and the downward and upward causalities between the computational cognition (abstract knowledge/theory) and the situated cognition (tacit knowledge/practice). Finally, as the third and last conclusion, following the tendencies identified, the paper presents a prediction about the danger of the field to loose its scientism and inherently its professional project, based on causalities of using just a positivist or, in the opposite, an interpretitivist approach, moving away from the scientific or practical context. Drawing a plural view of SW’s singularities, supported on the engagement of the critical realism in SW and its transdisciplinary flank, this paper advocates that in SW Research, Education and Practice, there is the need to make the convergence of the abstract mind and the situated cognition, recognizing it as the major singularity of SW which makes this social science distinctive from the other ones.
@InProceedings{MENDES2018SOC,
author = {Mendes, S. and Ferreira, J.},
title = {SOCIAL WORK SCIENCE: CONVERGENCE OF THE ABSTRACT MIND AND THE SITUATED COGNITION TOWARD FIXING THE GAP ON SOCIAL WORK},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.0708},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.0708},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3697-3705}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Mendes AU - J. Ferreira
TI - SOCIAL WORK SCIENCE: CONVERGENCE OF THE ABSTRACT MIND AND THE SITUATED COGNITION TOWARD FIXING THE GAP ON SOCIAL WORK
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.0708
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 3697
EP - 3705
ER -
S. Mendes, J. Ferreira (2018) SOCIAL WORK SCIENCE: CONVERGENCE OF THE ABSTRACT MIND AND THE SITUATED COGNITION TOWARD FIXING THE GAP ON SOCIAL WORK, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 3697-3705.
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