Critical discourse analysis of "Social justice" in Social service review, 1927-2013
Master of Social Work
School for Social Work
Social service review (Chicago, Ill.), Social justice, Critical discourse analysis, Social work discourse, Discourse analysis
This project is a critical discourse analysis of the usage of the term "social justice" in American social work. The project analyzed "social justice" discourse over the nearly 90-year publication history of one of America’s oldest and most prominent peer-reviewed social work journals, Social Service Review. The paper argues that "social justice" is consistently deployed in a way that both invokes its centrality/essentiality to social work and simultaneously splits off the concept from social work’s professional activities. "Social justice" appears as a nebulous and undefined term that is often affixed to discourses of individual identity, sentiment and history, and is routinely positioned outside of social work’s present-tense professional competencies. Thus, rather than constituting a solid foundation and core value of American social work, "social justice" is a term which bears the trace of social work’s unease with its status as a professional practice and field of knowledge production.
Walton-Wetzel, Jenny, "Social justice discourse in American social work : a critical discourse analysis of "Social justice" in Social service review, 1927-2013" (2017). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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