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      Social pedagogy versus social work in a Swedish context


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          In Sweden there are several different professions that work within the welfare sector. Two of these are social pedagogues and socionoms. This article examines the similarities and differences between these professional fields by exploring four areas in more detail: education, the history of ideas and theory, research and practice. The results show that there are not only many differences but also some similarities. In practical work, social pedagogues and socionoms often work side by side and perform similar tasks. They are located in the same areas and often use the same methods. When it comes to the differences in educational history and current educations, they are large although they can also be found in, for example, the history of ideas. Furthermore, research in the various areas differs. In social pedagogy the interest has to a greater extent been focused on an understanding of the discipline through studies of the history of ideas, while in social work today one often focuses on studies of professional methods. Today’s challenges in the welfare sector require new knowledge, ways of thinking and understanding. Here, social pedagogy with its philosophical roots and humanistic values can play an important role.

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          The understandings of social pedagogy from northern European perspectives

          This study examines understandings of social pedagogy. Interviews were conducted with nine social pedagogical researchers from Northern Europe. The interviewees were selected as representatives of their cultural and professional context and provided insight into their countries’ social pedagogical discourses. The interviewees were asked to talk about their understandings of social pedagogy from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The empirical data were divided into two discourses; the universalistic and the particularistic. In the interview statements it was evident that interviewees leaned towards one of the two discourses as a starting point for their understanding of social pedagogy. However, the way the two discourses were combined varied among the interviewees. In further analysis, three models were constructed, which can be regarded as ideal types. These models shows that social pedagogical way of thinking extend from an individualistic, adaptive, starting point through a democratic approach to a mobilising collective approach. These models can be seen as an important contribution to understanding of social pedagogy that illustrate three different ways of understanding social pedagogy from northern European perspectives. The models elucidate the complexity embedded in the concept, but can also be used to facilitate analyses and interpretations of various social pedagogical activities. This findings has implications for how education in the field is constructed and implemented. Social pedagogy may not be definable in a simple way, but it can nevertheless be understood and described by the models constructed in this study.
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            Social Work in a Changing Europe

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              Den svårfångade socialpedagogiken


                Author and article information

                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                UCL Press
                02 November 2021
                : 10
                : 1
                : 13
                [1 ]Division of Ageing and Social Change, Department of Culture and Society, Linköping University, SE-60174 Norrköping, Sweden
                [2 ]Division of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, University West, SE-46186 Trollhättan, Sweden; Lisbeth.Eriksson.2@ 123456hv.se (L.E.); bibbi.ringsby.jansson@ 123456hv.se (B.R.J.); lars.a.svensson@ 123456hv.se (L.A.S.)
                Author notes
                Author information
                © 2021, Elisabet Cedersund, Lisbeth Eriksson, Bibbi Ringsby Jansson and Lars A. Svensson.

                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.013.

                : 05 January 2021
                : 01 September 2021
                Page count
                Pages: 16
                Custom metadata
                Cedersund, E., Eriksson, L., Ringsby Jansson, B. and Svensson, L. A. (2021). Social pedagogy versus social work in a Swedish context. International Journal of Social Pedagogy, 10( 1): 13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ijsp.2021.v10.x.013.

                Sociology,Education,Social policy & Welfare,General social science,General behavioral science,Family & Child studies
                history of ideas,social work,social pedagogy,humanistic values,educational history,welfare sector


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