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Families in Society






Social work today faces a crucial watershed: Will the field continue to promulgate unsound and detrimental beliefs about social work research and knowledge, or will the field fully embrace the heuristic paradigm and thereby realize its true potential as a first-rate science committed to humanistic ideals? Proponents of unsound and detrimental beliefs have obscured the choice for social workers by systematically and thoroughly misrepresenting the heuristic paradigm, making unwarranted and misleading claims for the paradigms to which it is opposed (logical empiricism and relativism), and confusing the issues at stake for the field. Accordingly, this article helps social workers recognize the tenets and implications of each of the three paradigms for research that social work has available to it—the heuristic paradigm, logical empiricism, and relativism—so that social workers can make a truly informed choice about the best approach to knowledge in their field.


Author Posting © Families International, Inc., 2002. This article is posted here by permission of Families International, Inc. for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Families in Society, vol. 83 iss. 1, 2002

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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