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Empathy in Social Work

Eriksson, Karl LU and Englander, Magnus (2017) In Journal of Social Work Education 53(4). p.607-621
Abstract

A dominant conceptualization of empathy in social work practice and education, provided by Karen Gerdes and Elizabeth Segal, relies heavily on the simulation theory adopted directly from the cognitive neurosciences. The aim was to critically challenge such a view by reporting on some recent empirical findings from the field in which professional social workers were interviewed about their experience of empathy in working with forced migrants. The findings support a phenomenological, critical account of simulation theory and provide evidence that empathy is constituted as a direct social perception of the other's experience. It was concluded that simulation theory is insufficient in providing an exhaustive approach for the professional... (More)

A dominant conceptualization of empathy in social work practice and education, provided by Karen Gerdes and Elizabeth Segal, relies heavily on the simulation theory adopted directly from the cognitive neurosciences. The aim was to critically challenge such a view by reporting on some recent empirical findings from the field in which professional social workers were interviewed about their experience of empathy in working with forced migrants. The findings support a phenomenological, critical account of simulation theory and provide evidence that empathy is constituted as a direct social perception of the other's experience. It was concluded that simulation theory is insufficient in providing an exhaustive approach for the professional use of empathy in social work practice and education.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
categories
Higher Education
in
Journal of Social Work Education
volume
53
issue
4
pages
15 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:85019684506
ISSN
1043-7797
DOI
10.1080/10437797.2017.1284629
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f2b8756c-171c-43bd-8abf-5fab30dc0d4a
date added to LUP
2017-11-28 08:45:04
date last changed
2018-02-04 04:33:25
@article{f2b8756c-171c-43bd-8abf-5fab30dc0d4a,
  abstract     = {<p>A dominant conceptualization of empathy in social work practice and education, provided by Karen Gerdes and Elizabeth Segal, relies heavily on the simulation theory adopted directly from the cognitive neurosciences. The aim was to critically challenge such a view by reporting on some recent empirical findings from the field in which professional social workers were interviewed about their experience of empathy in working with forced migrants. The findings support a phenomenological, critical account of simulation theory and provide evidence that empathy is constituted as a direct social perception of the other's experience. It was concluded that simulation theory is insufficient in providing an exhaustive approach for the professional use of empathy in social work practice and education.</p>},
  author       = {Eriksson, Karl and Englander, Magnus},
  issn         = {1043-7797},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {607--621},
  series       = {Journal of Social Work Education},
  title        = {Empathy in Social Work},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2017.1284629},
  volume       = {53},
  year         = {2017},
}