Critical realism and social work research

As a philosophy of science, critical realism has become a strong contender to other ontological frameworks in the discipline of social work. The holistic perspective of social work research and practice requires the ability to comprehend the stratified and complicated nature of reality. The first symposium of critical realism and social work research was first hold in 2013 at the conference in Jyväskylä and the Special Interest Group was established in Bolzano 2014 and followed up by SIG symposia in Bolzano, Ljubljana, Lisbon, Aalborg. In 2018, a pre-conference of critical realism and social work research was hold at the ESWRA conference in Edinburgh. Topics in the previous gatherings have been discussions about how critical realism may contribute to make theoretical and methodological choices in social work research and the possibility of achieving anti-oppressive social work practices based on the concept of stratified reality offered in CR. 

The group is an open forum for all who are interested in social work methodologies and theory building and have opened up for vivid discussions on the philosophical bases of social work research.

Aims and scopes:
·To bring together social work researchers with different methodological backgrounds to discuss theories of social sciences in general, and how a critical realist framework might contribute to the development of fruitful approaches for different parts of social work research 

·To meet with an international network for researchers to share project results, research experiences, literature and to cooperate in the planning of new projects and meetings. 



Monica Kjørstad (Oslo Metropolitan University)

Didier Boost, University of Antwerpen.

Anu-Riina Svenlin, University of Umeå.