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Problems of realism and theorization in social research and Social Work

This article analyzes the problems of social research in Social Work. It discusses the naive position that leads to the supposition that professional intervention is immediate 'in the reality of problems'; and that which understands that theory possesses a true knowledge 'about reality', as if this would precede all knowledge. It defines research as social practice that has as its raison d'état the production of knowledge, while it inscribes itself in and feeds the political-cultural processes of production of social problems. For this reason, for Social Work, research is not equivalent to social diagnosis, but should be a continuous process that accompanies the development of any social project and professional practice. This requires a willingness to learn the profession (theoretical command, methodological-technical management and a questioning attitude), and to protect against the risks of the naturalization of the problems in which it is required to intervene, which can be caused by either a naive realism or theorization.

realism; theorization; research; social practice; production of knowledge

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Serviço Social e Curso de Graduação em Serviço Social da Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina , Centro Socioeconômico , Curso de Graduação em Serviço Social , Programa de Pós-Graduação em Serviço Social, Campus Universitário Reitor João David Ferreira Lima, 88040-900 - Florianópolis - Santa Catarina - Brasil, Tel. +55 48 3721 6524 - Florianópolis - SC - Brazil