Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Judith Levine

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Critical social workers now contend that an individual’s everyday living both shapes and is shaped by overarching social structures and discourses. As such, the subjectivity of the individual is considered an axis on which the existing social order can be either perpetuated or transformed. Transformations on the level of the individual are therefore argued to contribute to transformations on the levels of larger societal arrangements. For this reason, many critical social work theorists today argue that clinical social work practice with individuals is an essential component of effecting egalitarian forms of social change. Yet, critical social workers also widely acknowledge that clinical social work theory is currently a relatively underdeveloped area within critical social work literature. Contemporary relational psychoanalytic theory offers highly textured accounts of the interdependence of sociopolitical arrangements and cultural discourses, on the one hand, and the subjectivity of the individual, on the other, and has much to contribute to critical social workers’ current efforts to overcome oppressive relations on personal, interpersonal, and ultimately, societal levels.

Convocation Year


Included in

Social Work Commons