What is the science that social workers have to refer to? The paper discusses that Social work is a discipline at all and consequently that there is also a type of social research that is strictly attuned to the sense and to the work of social workers. In the first part of the paper the autor presents the Participatory research as particularly suited to the heuristic needs of Social work because it permits to structure the observation of extreme human suffering by enlarging the external mind of the researcher and connecting it with minds directly involved in the problem. In the second part, the paper discusses of the specific empirical studies of Social work that differentiates this disciplines from sociological or social policy studies.
Social work – social work research – participatory research