Polity
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Printed at: 24/07/2014  –  14:03:21


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About Polity Social Work

Building on our reputation for publishing high quality student textbooks, and cutting-edge work by leading authors, we are pleased to announce a major new list of titles in social care, suitable for a range of social work students and post-qualifying social workers.


Following in the Polity tradition, the books not only present a critical approach, but also provide exceptionally engaging introductions to the core themes in each area.

Visit our highlights page for more information on our new and forthcoming general interest titles.

Major Textbooks

Book CoverLlewellyn, Agu & Mercer: Sociology for Social Workers

"The authors have succeeded in writing a sociology text that is highly relevant to social work practice. Clearly written chapters explore different theoretical explanations and perspectives that will provoke the reader to reflect and challenge their own and others’ world views."

Sheila Furness, University of Bradford


"This book gives sociology immediacy, using case studies, exercises and images to enable social work students to apply sociological theory to scenarios drawn from real life. A very accessible book which should be on every social work programme’s introductory reading list."

Marilyn Gregory, University of Sheffield


Book CoverGreen: Understanding the Life Course

"Lorraine Green has produced an impressive and stimulating text. She rigorously shakes some of the lazy orthodoxies which can settle into our understandings of the human life course, yet the work remains accessible and relevant both to professionals and researchers who seek to understand this important domain."

Sue White, Professor of Social Work, Lancaster University


This engaging book provides a comprehensive guide to understanding the entire life course from an interdisciplinary perspective. Combining important insights sociology and psychology have to bring to the study of the life course, the book presents the concept’s theoretical underpinnings accessibly and with real-life examples.

Marilyn Gregory, University of Sheffield


Book CoverDominelli: Introducing Social Work

"Lena Dominelli has done it again. Already amongst the most widely read of social work authors, and with an international reputation, Professor Dominelli has written perhaps her most accessible book to date. Let us hope that it helps to attract many more people to the public service ethos of a much maligned and undervalued, yet critically important profession."

Audrey Mullender, Ruskin College


Book CoverHammick, Freeth, Copperman & Goodsman: Being Interprofessional

"All the best ideas are obvious when someone has thought of them; after they have read Being Interprofessional, many people will wonder why it was not written before."

Steve Trevillion, University of East London


Working interprofessionally is an essential part of successful health and social care provision in the twenty-first century. This engaging and easy-to-follow new text highlights the need for collaboration between practitioners from all branches of health and social care. It offers an indispensable guide to learning and working better together, and shows what being interprofessional really means.


Book CoverBarnes & Mercer: Exploring Disability 2nd edition

"If students and teachers want one resource to assist in their exploration of disability studies, then this is it. It’s up-to-date, comprehensive and coherent, outlining the key themes and issues in a readable way. No-one studying disability on an undergraduate, postgraduate or professional training course should be without it."

Mike Oliver, Emeritus Professor, University of Greenwich


Book CoverHubley & Copeman: Practical Health Promotion 2nd edition

“Packed with examples, activities, definitions and explanations of terms, this second edition is a clear and helpful guide for those seeking to understand and engage in health promotion practice. Its approach is straightforward and level-headed, never losing sight of the fact that while often a complex and difficult enterprise, health promotion at its heart is about understanding and improving the lives of individuals, communities and populations.”

Peter Duncan, King's College London


Book CoverNettleton: Sociology of Health and Illness 3rd Edition

Sarah Nettleton’s book has become a cornerstone text, popular with students and academics alike for its rigorous and accessible overview of the field. Thoroughly revised and fully updated, the third edition will prove invaluable to anyone looking for a clear, engaging introduction to contemporary debates within the sociology of health and illness.


Book CoverDominelli: Green Social Work

Green Social Work makes an important contribution to explicating the links between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Lena Dominelli convincingly argues that social workers, working with societies’ most marginal and disadvantaged people and communities, are key to articulating the social with the environmental in both their daily engagements with the people they work with, and as campaigners against structural inequality and injustice.”

Susan Buckingham, Brunel University


Book CoverDominelli: Social Work in a Globalizing World

This inspiring and stimulating book confronts contemporary challenges facing social workers. In addition to social problems that have persisted over time, the book addresses more recent problems rooted in the interdependent nature of the world, as well as the new opportunities that globalization creates for social work.


Book CoverDominelli: Social Work

Using a broad range of theories, this book outlines the knowledge, skills and values that enable practitioners to respond more effectively to the demands of working in fluid and constantly changing contexts. Underpinning the approach that it takes is the idea that ‘clients’ are citizens with social and human rights which have to be respected.


Social Work book series

Social Work in Theory and in Practice

This series of books provides students with an overview of the challenges and potential of working with various service-user groups, drawing on empirical evidence from practice and theoretical ideas from a range of disciplines.


Book CoverKarban: Social Work and Mental Health

"A social approach to mental health is needed now more than ever. Karban’s Social Work and Mental Health provides social care practitioners with all the arguments needed to defend their important corner. This will be an invaluable resource for trainees and those already working in the field."

David Pilgrim, School of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire


Book CoverMcDonald: Social Work with Older People

"Eminently accessible in terms of structure, style and content, the book addresses core areas, such as assessment and care planning, but also engages in more original discussion of work with older people within family and community contexts. Above all, it conveys the important message that social work with older people is a highly skilled, challenging and rewarding area of practice."

Denise Tanner, University of Birmingham


Book CoverSmith: Social Work with Young People

"Roger Smith's book is an excellent critical introduction for social work students and practitioners on working with young people. Blending theory, research and practice it challenges assumptions, champions a user-centred approach and promotes social justice in this contested and contentious area of practice."

Hugh McLaughlin, University of Salford


Skills for Contemporary Social Work

This series of concise, thoughtful books addresses key skills required for effective practice in the twenty-first century. Confronting key issues and debates, they aim to help students and practitioners across all service-user groups develop skills to work with confidence.


Book CoverHill: Working in Statutory Contexts

"This is an excellent book and should be compulsory reading for social work students. It is clearly written, sensitively related to social work practice, with some first-rate examples; above all, it really speaks to the realities of contemporary statutory professional practice in the twenty-first century. Andrew Hill has written a thorough but readable text for students which they will find useful at any stage in their qualification degree."

David Shemmings, University of Kent


Book CoverEvans & Hardy: Evidence and Knowledge for Practice

"This is a refreshing book from so many angles. I find it engaging as well as sophisticated in its coverage of ideas and issues crucial to the average practitioner. It introduces a broad spread of theories and perspectives in an accessible and meaningful way."

Jan Fook, Royal Holloway, University of London


"The book succeeds in being intellectually rigorous yet accessible and is an invaluable guide to students, lecturers, policy-makers and practitioners on how to understand and use evidence and knowledge in social work."

Harry Ferguson, University of Nottingham



Book CoverPhillips: Care

"This book engages the reader in numerous ways by tracking the development of social care, exploring its relevance to professional practice and public services and posing a set of questions about its future. Judith Phillips‘s volume will be a key resource for students, researchers and practitioners in understanding the perplexities of the subject."

Jill Manthorpe, King’s College, London


Book Cover Barnes & Mercer: Disability

"This book is essential reading for all disability studies scholars. It is historically well-grounded and theoretically rigorous, carefully exploring theories of disability, impairment and the body. The nature of the social oppression experienced by disabled people is analysed, and disability is located in relation to gender, 'race' and social class. Like all good sociology, the book is highly accessible and an excellent read."

Sheila Riddell, University of Glasgow