The Construction of Social Class in Social Work Education: A Study of Introductory Textbooks

Roni Strier, Guy Feldman, Corey Shdaimah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social work introductory textbooks reflect myriad practical interests, pedagogical concerns, and theoretical considerations. However, they also present students with accepted views, dominant perspectives, and main discourses of knowledge. In light of this centrality, the present article examines the representation of the concept of "social class" in introductory textbooks as a way to look at the construction of the concept in social work education. Based on the content analysis study of 50 introductory textbooks, the article suggests that social work education has overlooked or even denied the relevance of social class. Class differences, as part of other categories of power such as race, ethnicity, and gender are crucial factors in explaining diversity and inequality. As social justice is one of the main premises of social work, the question of how to prepare students to deal with class issues as future practitioners seems to be very important, especially in light of increasing social class gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-420
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • diversity
  • social class
  • social differences
  • social justice
  • social work education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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