Tensions confronting the development of social work education in China: Challenges and opportunities

Woon Ki Angelina Yuen Tsang, Sibin Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Social work education was first developed in China in the 1920s, but was eliminated from the universities in the early 1950s. When social work was reintroduced in the late 1980s, there was neither the professional expertise nor the experience to develop it and educators had to search for their own direction. Since the 1990s social work education has been confronted with many problems, and social work educators have had to struggle to find their way. Three major sources of tension were identified: Between individual treatment and social reform; between standardization and contextualization; and between professionalism and populism. The emerging pattern is characterized by responsiveness to community change and social development; its partnership with the government and its commitment to indigenization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-388
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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