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      Social pedagogy, social education and social work in Spain: Convergent paths


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          The rise of social pedagogy in recent years has led to a revival of discourses and practices in the fields of social work and pedagogy. Both fields have seen a renewed way of interpreting social and educational relationships and professional practice. This, in turn, has resulted in ongoing analysis and debate regarding the academic and professional affiliation of social pedagogy in recent decades. The aim of this article is to provide an outline of how these disciplines and practices have evolved in Spain. This study adopts a comparative perspective to present a descriptive analysis of the history, training and areas of professional intervention of social pedagogy, social education and social work. The first section discusses the complexity of the relationships between them. In the following two sections, the historical evolution of these disciplines is analysed, highlighting their fundamental milestones. This is followed by a comparison of their respective professional profiles and initial training. The next section then reveals shared professional intervention areas and those that are specific to each professional practice. By way of conclusion, a critical reflection is provided on the way in which the relationship between social pedagogy and social work is usually approached, and also the positioning of the relationship between these disciplines and practices.

          Most cited references81

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          Paradigms and Politics: Understanding Methods Paradigms in an Historical Context: The Case of Social Pedagogy

          W. Lorenz (2008)
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            The Concept of Social Pedagogy in the Field of Social Work

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              Exploring different perspectives of Social Pedagogy: towards a complex and integrated approach.

              Some characterizations describe social pedagogy as a broad, complex, ambiguous and problematic concept that applies to very different things. This is due to the simplicity of the tools used to approach such a complex area. A change of perspective to interpret social pedagogy as a hybrid and complex subject may transform the alleged deficiencies into strengths and promise. This paper provides elements that enable such a change. To this end, some misunderstandings regarding social pedagogy are presented. These misunderstandings are scenarios and factors that have contributed (1) to the generation of inaccuracies and confusions about what social pedagogy is, could, or should do, and (2) to the projection of an inconsistent and poorly defined image of social pedagogy, i.e. a discipline without method and an ineffective and inefficient practice for solving social problems. The social pedagogy that emerges from the six misunderstandings (cognitive, policy-related, scientist, action-related, normative and social) is complex. From the new perspective, it is more of a hybrid subject (a concept, a discipline and a practice) that is complex, open, dynamic and ever changing.

                Author and article information

                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                UCL Press
                26 February 2021
                : 10
                : 1
                : 1
                Professor of Social Pedagogy, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; xavier.ucar@ 123456uab.cat
                © 2021, Xavier Úcar.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ijsp.2021.v10.x.001.

                : 26 June 2020
                : 07 January 2021
                Page count
                Pages: 17
                Custom metadata
                Úcar, X. (2021). Social pedagogy, social education and social work in Spain: Convergent paths. International Journal of Social Pedagogy, 10( 1): 1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ijsp.2021.v10.x.001.

                Sociology,Education,Social policy & Welfare,General social science,General behavioral science,Family & Child studies
                social professions,social work,Spanish social professions,history of social work,history of social education,social assistance,social education,social pedagogy


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