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Historical Research$
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Elizabeth Ann Danto

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333060

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333060.001.0001

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Overall Design and Method

Overall Design and Method

(p.30) 2 Overall Design and Method
Historical Research

Elizabeth Ann Danto

Oxford University Press

This chapter covers the design and method of historical study in social work. It argues that researchers need to articulate the reasons for pursuing a study, not only for themselves but also for the communities of scholars and beyond. The purpose of a historical study in social work is generally twofold: (1) to provide a descriptive, longitudinal overview of specific social problems, programs, or policies within predetermined dates, and (2) to trace major ideological themes in the history of social work and its multiple ancillary fields and to develop implications for practice by comparing how their different cultural and sociopolitical contexts change over time. Study rationale, problem formulation, hypothesis development, term definitions, and data collection are discussed and illustrated with examples.

Keywords:   historical study, social work, study design, study rationale, problem formulation, hypothesis development, term definitions, data collection

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