What is social work? A Canadian history

Date: Friday 28 October 2016

Speaker: Colleen Lundy

Title: What is social work? A Canadian history

Lecture summary:

handsAt the turn of the century, social work emerged as an organized response to the poverty produced by the forces of capitalism and industrialization. Social work has been shaped and influenced by changing social, economic, and political conditions since its inception. The pursuit of social justice was at times lost in the quest for professionalization and the lure of professional status. This talk will highlight moments throughout the history of the profession that depict this tension.

Book: One Hundred Years of Social Work: A History of the Profession in English Canada 1900-2000 (with Therese Jennissen), Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011, 351 pages.


lundyColleen Lundy had a circuitous route to social work: she grew up in mining towns in northern Ontario, a daughter of a miner, and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1967. She travelled and achieved a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Ottawa (1977) and a Masters of Social Work (MSW) at Carleton University in 1979. She then went on to get a PhD in Social Work at Florida State University. Her first teaching position was at Memorial University in St. John’s Newfoundland. She later came to Carleton University in 1987 and retired as Professor Emerita in 2014.

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