Origins of Social Work

Sozial work is a typically modern profession and discipline. Ist development was necessitated by the economic, social and political transformation which marked the transition from a traditional to a modern society. Ist mandate is to support people, threatened with isolation, poverty, marginalisation as well as their psychological implications to realise their social citizenship. This development took place in various phases which are briefly introduced, in parallel with the various models of "welfare regimes" that came to characterise European nation states. The purpose of the module is to show that "helping" of this formal kind impliesthe mediation between "private troubles" and "public issues" and is therefore always of a political nature.

Frequenza e Attestati

Attestato di Partecipazione


Scienze Sociali

Ore di Formazione




Modalità Corso





3 Settimane



Stato del Corso

Auto apprendimento

Avvio Iscrizioni

20 Mag 2016

Apertura Corso

22 Giu 2016

Inizio Tutoraggio

22 Giu 2016

Fine Tutoraggio

22 Lug 2016


23 Lug 2016

Chiusura Corso

Non impostato

The module provides participants with a basic understanding of the specific nature of social work as an academic discipline and as a profession from an historical perspective. It therefore helps to correct misunderstandings of the helping process in social services and allows to recognise the personal and the political nature of this highly delicate process. Students will learn that the processes that brought about modern societies, with their promises of liberty and equality but also with their dangers of dependency, destitution and exclusion, are continuously at work. They will be able to identify the outlines of similarities and differences  between present social policy options and those of early industrialisation.

(1) Thompson, E.P. (1991), The Making of the English Working Class. London: Penguin. (2) Durkheim, É. (1984, orig. 1893), The Division of Labor in Society. New York: The Free Press.

  • Lorenz, W. (2010), Globalizzazione e Servizio Sociale in Europa, Il Servizio Sociale,/115 Carocci Faber, Roma ISBN 978-88-7466-547-1. 
  • Lorenz, W. (2006), Perspectives on European Social Work – From the Birth of the Nation State to the Impact of Globalisation, Leverkusen Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers, ISBN-10 3-86649-008-9.

The course consists of 9 impulse lectures followed by exercises in self-study with guidelines for the exploration of key-texts and otherrelevant  sources of information concerning the background to the course topic

Attendance certificates willbe issued on submission of a 2 page summary of salient points of the overall topic of the module submitted online



Educational sciences