Barney McDowell


Eco-systems perspective and its predecessor, systems theory, have been put forth as the guiding methodological framework for social work. In fact, operationally and theoretically most of these formulations are mechanistic and dualistic. Social work systems theory claims ecology, thermodynamics, and biology as its historical roots. It is, therefore, incumbent on the profession to examine the fundamentals of those disciplines. This paper examines social work's eco-systemic formulations in light of new hypotheses in biology and thermodynamics as well as the ecological crisis of our times. Professionalism will then be discussed as the operational demonstration of social work's mechanistic philosophy.

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