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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Social functioning discourse in a Chinese context: Developing social work in mainland China.

Author: Yan, Miu Chung
Author Background:
Date 4/1/98
Type Journal
Journal Title: International-Social-Work
Volume/Pages Vol 41(2): 181-194
Subject Matter Asian Pacific Islander
Abstract Presents a critique of the fundamental conceptualizations found in traditional social work discourse (i.e., social functioning), and the importance of reviewing these concepts in context. The first part of the article discusses the person and environment in interaction (PEI) dialectic of social functioning. The author argues that this dialectic has some inherent deficiencies which are attributable to its foundation in western capitalist culture. The second part of this article explores the possible meaning of PEI and social functioning in a traditional Chinese culture, maintaining that this distinctive cultural context will give a new meaning to the concept of social functioning. Such new meaning indicates the untenable nature of universal claims which are regularly taken for granted in the social work profession. Finally, the author highlights some implications of developing social work in mainland China. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)