Indigenization, recontextualization, China, social work development, Basil Bernstein


Internationalization and indigenization are dialectical processes of knowledge transfer. However, social work literature has paid scant attention to the process of indigenization, which can best be understood as one of recontextualization. This paper introduces Basil Bernstein's theory, which contends that recontextualization is a political process, as an analytical tool for us to understand the politics of indigenization. To demonstrate the usefulness of this tool, this paper analyzes how, in China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and social work academics interactively compete for this control.

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