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A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory

A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory [Kindle Edition]

Professor David Howe
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'A comprehensive yet concise introduction to social work theory. A must for every social work student.'
- Martin Sheedy, Lecturer at Liverpool John Moore's University, UK 
'An excellent text that is 'non-threatening' for new students, who can gain an overall picture of the range of theory available to them.'
- Kay Wall, Lecturer at North East Worcestershire College, UK 
'A wonderous handbook, excellent.'
- Nigel Horner, Lecturer at University of Lincoln, UK
'Howe clearly explains his aspiration for this book, stating that he hopes it will 'excite' the reader, and excite it does. I would highly recommend that you chose this title for your collection, and refer to it often in your attempts to understand human beings and the situations they find themselves within.'
- Community Care
'[U]seful for all social work educators and researchers who have tended to adopt, sometimes uncritically, the latest 'truths' in theory and practice emerging from the English-speaking world, to read Howe's book and perhaps avoid the pitfalls of accepting single theories or models of practice that might not fit their contexts.'
- European Journal of Social Work

Product Description

Learning about social work theory is a bit like hot air ballooning – it's about looking at the world from above and going on a voyage of discovery to find out what guides social work practice.


In 25 clearly labelled chapters, this book explains and discusses social work theory in a crisp, clear and accessible way. Whether you're a student, a newly qualified social worker or a 'seasoned' professional you will find plenty in this book to inform, enlighten and refresh you. Written by David Howe, one of the top British writers in social work, his simple, easy-to-read style makes this text ideal for quick reference in lectures, on placement or in practice.


A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory manages to be both compact and comprehensive. You will return to this 'can't live without it' text time and time again.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 379 KB
  • Print Length: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (29 May 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006UH4E5Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,425 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

After a degree in the natural sciences and careers in teaching and social work, in 1976 I took up a post as lecturer at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. I am currently an Emeritus Professor in the School of Social Work and Psychology at UEA. Over the years, my research and writing interests have included social work theory, adoption, emotional intelligence, empathy, attachment theory, and child abuse and neglect. To date, I have written 18 books. I had a new book published November 2012 - "EMPATHY: What it is and why it matters", published by Palgrave Macmillan. I have a new book due out at the end of 2014: "The Compleat Social Worker" also published by Palgrave Macmillan.

And when I'm not writing, you might spot me on top of a mountain in the Lake District or Scotland. Or find me wandering a coastal path in Cornwall, Norfolk or Pembroke. There was a time when I could climb, walk and think about my next book. But now I'm getting old and retired, it takes all my energy just to get up a hill, never mind think at the same time.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brief but a useful resource 25 Mar 2010
easy to read once i got past the boring introduction. my lecturer couldn't recommend this book highly enough and it was certainly a good resource for this subject.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what is says on the tin...or cover! 7 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just started a post grad in Social Work having had no background in theories. Similarly as the reviewer above, my lecturer too couldn't recommend this book enough (along with the Blackwell Companion) and I have to say that it is simply and wonderfully written and gives excellent explanations into such difficult theories/philosophies such as Post MOdernism and the difference between Reflexivity and Reflectivity. Really love Howe! I wish everyone would write like him! He is a joy to read!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practitioner's intro 13 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was bought as a gift for a relative in this line of work and was very valued for its useful content
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book. 18 April 2012
By sha
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An easy to read book which makes theory easy to understand and apply to practice. This book is Ideal for both students and practitioners to refer to.
This book has been a great help throughout my studies. I have referred to this in nearly all of my assignments and throughout my placements. I would recommend this book to all students. Compact, accessible and great value.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful 7 Jan 2012
I'm a first year Social Work student and found this book very useful when starting my module on the Foundations of Social Work. It gives you a brief but useful overview of certain aspects of the profession and has been a good reference for some of my essays. It's not a book with loads and loads of complex theory or jargon; it's simple and helpful. I would recommend for any first year in their first term of the course but I wouldn't rush out and buy it if you don't fit in to that criteria.
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I'm a Practice Supervisor and this is a great reference toolkit to remind you quickly of most of the theories used with social work practice, thank you Mr Howe! An excellent book indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 19 May 2014
By Ama
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like this book; is very useful, it has different social work theories which is easy to understand and apply.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and well written 7 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent and well written. Well thought out with concise information good for academic work. It helped me writing my essays and they produced very good results.I highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 17 minutes ago by Joanne E Day
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A really good and informative read.
Published 29 days ago by Tigz
5.0 out of 5 stars an essential book in my opinion - a great book for my placement/ study
an essential book in my opinion - a great book for my placement/ study.... good detail and is so informative about a number of theories/approaches.
Published 2 months ago by Andrew Magnay
5.0 out of 5 stars great
I am hoping to start a Social Work master degree and this book has helped me so much with my interviews. Every Social Work student and worker needs this.
Published 6 months ago by becccci
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I am happy I did business here. The experience has been great and I haven't had problems trying to resolve disputes.
Published 6 months ago by Samuel
5.0 out of 5 stars this book in an introduction to social work theroy
I love this book , its gives you the main principles of the theories , the advantages and disadvantages when applyingbto social work practice. Read more
Published 7 months ago by shanie campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars As a social work student this is Gold
I am currently at the beginning of my social work training and university lectures have flown through psychological and sociological theories far too quickly. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Becca Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars used for studies
this is a briliant social work theory book becuase each theory is described in brief but simple to understand - i loved it and often quote Howe in essays -
Published 7 months ago by caroline
5.0 out of 5 stars Social Work
This is a very good book for the student or the long time qualified Social Worker. With this book I have returned to being "consciously competent".
Published 9 months ago by Phil Thomson
4.0 out of 5 stars social work
i've recently returned to college to learn and update my future with the social services, during these courses we were recommended a selection of books to read to aid us.
Published 11 months ago by robert auld
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