Dissertation Abstracts

Comparing Social Work Education in a Parliamentary Democracy and in a Communist regime – A Study of India and China

Author: Rajendra Baikady , rajendrabaikady@yahoo.com
Department: Social Work
University: Central University of Karnataka and Shandong University China, India
Supervisor: Prof. Channaveer RM and Prof. Cheng Shengli
Year of completion: 2017
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Social Work Education , Comparitive Study , China , India
Areas of Research: Comparative Sociology , Education , Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy


My Doctoral work dealt with a number of aspects associated with social work education in India and China, in particular examining the status of social work education in a parliamentary democracy and communist regime. I looked at the curriculum, teaching learning and practices, level of indigenization of social work education and practice and civil society engagement in social work education. The study examined the ontological and the epistemological assumption that the social work is a socially constructed institutional care practice, the emergence and the development of social work is largely decided by social, economic, political and cultural context of the country. These contexts either involve or influence the development and relevance of social work. In addition, social work is a social institution that mediates the civil society and the state; both civil society organizations and the state have their influence in the development of social work. Data required for the study was collected through face to face in-depth interviews with Educators, Students, Heads of the department and Civil Society heads in both India and China. In addition a checklist was used to understand the applicability and knowledge of social work educators on global standards for social work education and practice. In my Doctoral study I found that, social work is profession which enables social workers to geographically move from one country to another in order to practice in different societies, similarly social work education and research can be seen to be international within the context of cross- cultural thinking, writing and debate at a social, educational, political and conceptual level. Nevertheless social work in both India and China is not a recognized profession. Social work in both India and China finds itself facing a number of challenges. In India the social work education is becoming more commercialised degree where as in china fewer social workers are graduating, and the turnover rates among the social work professionals is higher than those of other professions, and there is still an insufficient social recognition of the value of social work as a profession. Both in India and China social work curriculum is westernized and lacks theory and practice components relevant to the local socio- cultural contexts. The discussion with social work educators and students reviled that there is a greater need for schools of social works to work together in development of social work knowledge base and practice base. Despite of development of social work for last 80 years, social work in India failed to achieve a standardised social work curriculum representing country specific characteristics. Wide gap between the schools of social work and lack of coordination and cooperation among the social work educators with respect to teaching, research and practice still persist. Social work in both India and China appears to have bright future as in China it is a government mandated profession and in India changing social and economic contexts along with democratic characteristics creates space for social work practice.