OBJECTIVES: The aim of the article is to suggest how to implement selected elements from the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas (in the conception of Geert van der Laan), Iris Marion Young and Nancy Fraser into a participatory dialogue between client and social worker. THEORETICAL BASE: Participatory dialogue in social work is conceived as an art of communication, which is based on respect for mutual differences, on the search for common understanding in building a socially just society, as well as on the reflection of individual and structural limits of participation and efforts to mitigate or eliminate them. METHODS: This is a theoretical article built on the logical procedure of analogy. OUTCOMES: The presented critical theories seem to be very inspiring for participatory dialogue in social work. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: While Habermas’s contribution is primarily technical/instrumental, Young and Fraser provide more ethical/value impulses, as they compensate for the idealism of Habermas’s concept and offer ways to achieve full human participation.
social work, participation, participatory dialogue, Jürgen Habermas, Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser
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