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Recalibrating micro and macro social work: Student perceptions of social action
Social Work Education (2019)
  • Amy Krings, PhD
  • Charla Truby-Hockman, MSW
  • Michael P. Dentato, PhD, MSW, Loyola University Chicago
  • Susan Grossman, PhD
As underscored by their professional code of ethics, all social
workers are called to engage in social action that advances social
justice. Yet, the focus of the profession has drifted toward individual
treatment and away from social reform. Drawing upon data
from an online survey of graduate social work students (N= 199) in
the United States, this study explores the role of student perceptions
relating to the importance of and their confidence in engaging
in social action. Specifically, we assess whether perceptions
vary according to practice level (micro or macro), social identity, or
survey completion date (before or after the 2016 United States
presidential election). Findings suggest that respondents exhibit
a high degree of interest and confidence in social action with
limited variation on the basis of their practice level or background
characteristics. Furthermore, the 2016 presidential election did
little to change perceptions of social action. This suggests that
the profession’s marginalization of macro practice is not necessarily
driven by student interest or confidence.
  • social justice,
  • United States presidential election,
  • social work graduate students,
  • student confidence,
  • activism
Publication Date
June 19, 2019
Citation Information
Amy Krings, Charla Truby-Hockman, Michael P. Dentato and Susan Grossman. "Recalibrating micro and macro social work: Student perceptions of social action" Social Work Education (2019) p. 1 - 15 ISSN: 0261-5479
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