Feminisms: controversy, contestation and challenge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Social work and feminism have always had a somewhat mixed relationship. There are clear influences, but also elements of contestation, with those working in the fields of social work and social care being as susceptible to interpretations and trends in popular culture as the rest of the population. In this chapter, I examine the development, impact and tensions of various feminisms. We explore the place of experience and the schisms brought about by attempts to incorporate the very different experiences of Black women as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds into 'second wave' feminism. We consider the contribution made by postmodern feminism and investigate the influence of what has been termed 'choice' feminism on so called third and fourth wave movements. We also appraise what is sometimes and controversially called, Islamic feminism to consider the connections and disconnections between Islam, culture and patriarchy. Finally, we look at the effects of these various influences on social work in terms of current practice and future directions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Feminist Theories for Social Work Practice
EditorsChristine Cocker, Trish Hafford-Letchfield
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Pages19 -36
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030942410
ISBN (Print)9783030942403
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Apr 2022


  • feminisms
  • social work theory
  • controversy
  • contestation
  • challenge
  • social work


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  • Feminisms: controversy, contestation and challenge

    Fawcett, B., 7 Sept 2021, (Accepted/In press) Rethinking Feminist Theories for Social Work. Cocker, C. & Hafford-Letchfield, T. (eds.). Bristol, 23 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    Open Access

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