Social Work, History and Research

The general aim of the group is to provide a forum to bring together scholars with areas of interest in issues related to history, archival research, and social work research. This includes the history of all aspects of social work as well as the history of research in social work. Social work is a new profession derived from a broad range of social developments in the last centuries. Therefore, the group intends to incorporate within it the research undertaken by various disciplines that are engaged in historical research on social work, social work research and welfare production. It is an interdisciplinary forum. Archival research plays a pivotal role in this context for it is the major instrument to explore the various historical facets of social work and research within it. Hence, our group regards methodological reflections on archival research strategies as indispensable to advance social work historiography. In line with the goals of ESWRA, we emphasize the ongoing interconnection of developments in social work across national boundaries in Europe and beyond. This transnational perspective places special emphasis on the flows and translation of knowledge, practices, theories and policies influencing historical developments in countries across the globe. These translations reflect that social work as an important field of social development that is located in a conflictive space, with numerous actors, contrasting interests, and power differentials that are documented, archived, and interpreted in various ways. Our group considers itself as an open forum for these diverging approaches to the history of social work and social work research.

Conveners: Stefan Köngeter (Germany) & John Gal (Israel)

SIG Event Program for Research in the History of Social Work SIG – April 10th, 2019, Leuven

9:30-9:40 Opening Remarks + Metaview

Dayana Lau, Rory Crath, Sarah Vicary, and Stefan Köngeter

9:40-10:55 Session I: Topics, Methods and (Inter)Disciplinary Knowledges

Moderator: Ian Shaw

Presenters: Ian Shaw. Histories of the Craft of Social Work Research: Creating a Shared Agenda. (20 minutes + Questions)

Marjorie Johnstone. The Shifting Faces of Social Work Research in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, 1914-1964 (20 minutes)

Steven Malies. When and How Does Research Enter Social Work Education Programmes in Europe and Beyond? (20 minutes)

Discussion:(15 minutes)

10:55-11:05 Break

11:05-12:00 Session II: Transnational Connections; the localization of Knowledges

Moderator: Sarah Vicary

Presenters: Volker Walpulski. About the Spreading of Case Work and Supervision as New Methods in Social Work in Western Europe between 1945 and 1965 (20 minutes)

Nofar Mazursky and Dayana Lau. On the History of Social Work Research between Germany and Mandatory Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s (20 Minutes)

Discussion (15 Minutes)

12:00-13:00 Lunch Break

13:00-13:55 Session III: Research and Social Reform

Moderator: Rory Crath

Presenters: Francisco Branco. Florence Kelley life and work as a challenge case to research on social work and social welfare in the Lusophony context (20 minutes)

Susanne Maurer. Radical Knowledge Production? A ‘Social Movement‘ Perspective on Research in the History of Social Work (20 minutes)

Discussion (15 Minutes)

13:55-15:15 Session IV: Innovation and Methods

Moderator:Dayana Lau

Presenters: Chris Hemsley. Tilda Goldberg: a Social Work Research Pioneer (20 minutes)

Rory Crath. ‘Counting noses’: Moralism, Intuitive Epistemologies and Early Settlement worker’s use of numerical logics to visualise social inequities (20 minutes)

Sarah Vicary. Mental Health Social Work in England: A Pair of Stout Shoes and an Umbrella. Take 2 (20 Minutes)

Discussion (20 minutes)

15:15-15:30 General /Targeted Discussion; SIGupdates and way forward; Closing Remarks

This document has been composed with the online instant web content converter which can be found at