In a previous article ("Theoretical Models of Social Structure and the Practice of Social Work," Arete Spring 1976, Vol. 4 no. 1) I commented on the variety of non-interchangable social theory doctrines utilized by social work, past and present, to explain the relationship between the client (or client group) and society. In it I indicated the hidden assumptions of the practitioner as revealed by his social theory of choice. As therapist he (or she) inferentially laid the onus of adjustment on the client; as advocate--on the society, depending upon the particular consensus or conflict theory utilized. I pointed out that the most appropriate theory, however, for analysis of the probable relationship between most individuals and society is symbolic interacticn, iii that it provides mechanisms for study of the view as seen by the client, as seen by the society and as seen in the interaction between the individual and the society. Aside from social problems deriving from severe structural faults or from severe individual deficiences, most situations found in social work settings represent problems of interactive patterns between social settings and clients which tend to reinforce problem conditions.
"On the Promise of Symbolic Interaction For Social Welfare (A comment by the editor of the special issue),"
The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare: Vol. 6
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/jssw/vol6/iss1/2