Critical theories explain social problems as arising from various forms of oppression and injustice in globalized capitalist societies and forms of neoliberal governance.
This approach to social work theory is formed by a polyglot of theories from across the humanities and social sciences, borrowing from various schools of thought, including Marxism, feminism, anti-racism, social democracy, and anarchism.
Critical social work is heavily influenced by Marxism, the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory and by the earlier approach of Radical social work, which was focused on class oppression.
Critical social work evolved from this to oppose all forms of oppression.
The challenges of measuring the critical thinking capacities of students are also examined.
Search Strategy for Literature Review The first step in undertaking the literature review was to locate relevant articles from computerised databases relevant to social work, education, nursing and social sciences, including Pro Quest, Informit, Sage Journals Online, ERIC, Wiley Interscience and OVID.
It reviews how critical thinking is taught generically and in other professional disciplines and considers how this might be useful in social work and human services.
Particular attention is given to the importance of recognising and valuing the client perspective when thinking through issues and making decisions.
Mullaly & Keating (1991) suggest three schools of radical thought corresponding to three versions of socialist analysis; social democracy, revolutionary Marxism and revolutionary Marxism.
However, they work in institutional contexts which paradoxically implicates them in maintaining capitalist functions.