Philosophical Concept of Citizenship in Social Work Education: Model of Norway

Jana Šolcová, Miroslava Tokovská, Michal Kozubík

Jana Šolcová works as an assistant professor at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Education, Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia. She deals with the theories and methods of social work in the context of work with children and youth, and social services. Research interests include volunteering, global education, and is an author of various articles and textbooks on theoretical and practical problems in social work. She has been working in the fields of children and youth NGOs as a volunteer.

Miroslava Tokovská currently works at the School of Health Sciences, Kristiania University College in Oslo, Norway. She specialises in research topics such as the elderly population, public health, health promotion, suicide, migrants and mental health, non-pharmacological treatment of dementia, social media, social work education, social support and relatives. As a practitioner she has been working in several health and social care services and NGOs.

Michal Kozubík works as professor at the Department of Social Work and Social Sciences, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia. He deals systematically with the issue of poverty and social exclusion of the Roma community. In 2018, he started to study for a Ph.D. degree at the University Medical Center, University of Groningen.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the article is to present the philosophical concept of state and democratic citizenship in working with social service clients based on a reflection of the professional practice of social work students in Norway. THEORETICAL BASE: The theoretical basis of the concept of citizenship in social work supports the concept of active citizenship, the principle of social justice and the theory of recognition. METHODS: In the process of analysing reports and reflections of social work students, we used content analysis and open coding, through which we identified individual topics and categories. OUTCOMES: Two main categories have been identified: 1. description of the course of applying the concept of citizenship in working with social service clients, 2. benefits and importance of applying the concept of citizenship. The key findings appeal in particular to the creation of a relationship with clients, the promotion of clients’ own resources and the active participation of the client in social care. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The text forms a coherent set of findings about the philosophical concept of citizenship in the theory of social work. The method of education within the specialised training of Norwegian students can serve as an example and inspiration for the application of the concept of citizenship in the practice of social work.

concept of citizenship, social work, theory of recognition, social service clients

p. 62-79