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On Social Theory In Social Work We know where we have been where we are now and where we need to go - but how do we get there A map Theory is a map It notes any number of known landmarks previously achieved or applied solutions and obstacles issues or problems and gives us direction so that we are able to navigate intelligently and arrive safely minimal discomfort to all at our destination desired outcomes Theory is an attempt to explain the unexplained to give title to the untitled and to give reason to the unreasonable It is a combination of existing knowledge and newly acquired knowledge that allows us to make assumptions in order to realise reasonably foreseeable outcomes It is only in the realms of science physics and mathematics that the repeated application of a single theory will return a consistent result indefinitely However in the social work disciplines the repeated application of a single theory may very well result in chaos and mayhem due simply to the addition of the vagaries and subjectiveness of human behaviour - individual realism and personality Mix society with the individual then add a third ingredient - power political economic etc and you end up with a chameleonic and metamorphosis-like result what I refer to as the lava lamp effect - constant change confusion tangentiality shifts in personal political and societal values and meanings Theory is the vehicle of bringing order and making sense of all these things That an individual on one occasion might respond to certain stimuli in a particular fashion is no predictor of the individuals micro level responses to the same or like stimuli on subsequent occasions and is certainly not an indication that the collective macro level will respond in the same manner It is not possible for one person to comprehend the world as perceived by another person The absolute closest we can come
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