Social work as art revisited

Mel Gray, Stephen Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we revisit ‘social work as art’, noting that it is just over 20 years since England’s book on the subject provided a direction for the profession’s early defence against empiricism. Those who picked up the ball handed to them by England tended to focus discussions of social work’s ‘art’ on its soft side, embedding it in notions of ‘creativity’, ‘meaning’, ‘self-expression’, ‘intuition’ and ‘quality’, all of which were said to characterise the ‘aesthetic dimensions’ of social work practice as a counterpoint to the rising tide of hard empiricism,
proceduralism and managerialism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-193
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • social work
  • art
  • phenomenology


Dive into the research topics of 'Social work as art revisited'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this