What does the ‘Fourth Wave’ mean for teaching feminism in 21st century social work?

Ruth Phillips, Viviene Cree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is no straightforward definition of feminism today. In spite of this, scholars and researchers who describe themselves as ‘feminist’ continue to produce work that both interrogates the specific and general conditions of women’s lives and explores the more ubiquitous construct of ‘gender’, and in social work, feminist understandings remain central to practice, theory and research. This may, in large part, be reflective of the continuing over-representation of women as providers and users of social work services. It may also echo social work’s broader emancipatory, ‘social justice’ aspirations. Whichever is the case, we are currently witnessing a resurgence of interest in feminism across the world, with a claim that we are experiencing a ‘fourth wave’ in the global North that has its birthplace primarily on the Internet (Baumgardner, 2011; Leupold, 2010; Solomon, 2009). Given that this is so, this paper asks: what (if any) is the impact or possible influence of fourth wave feminism on teaching social work today?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-943
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number7
Early online date21 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Fourth Wave
  • Second Wave
  • Feminism
  • Social Work Teaching
  • Herstories


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