Positioning social justice: Reclaiming social work's organising value

Dassi Postan-Aizik, Corey S. Shdaimah, Roni Strier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the value of social justice as a shared ethical ground for social workers worldwide. Constructions and interpretations of social justice are deeply affected by different perspectives, contested positions and unequal power dynamics. As societies become ever more diversified, these may hinder the centrality of social justice as a core value. Drawing on data collected from participants in a binational interprofessional seminar on social justice in multi-cultural societies, this qualitative study is based on interviews and visual analysis with 16 American and 15 Israeli social workers and social work students. Findings suggest that social justice remains a core value although it is both an organising and disorganising, unifying and dividing concept. The study explores the positive contribution of positionality to help gain a broader understanding of social justice and navigate challenges in implementation, practice and education in diverse and conflicted settings. Practical implications for social work practice and education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1652-1668
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.


  • Diversity
  • Ethics
  • Multi-culturalism
  • Photovoice
  • Positionality
  • Social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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