When in early 2003 we discussed with colleagues, students and social work practitioners our idea of placing the body at the centre of our thinking and practice, we were met with arguments and anxieties that this was a backward step — a reductionist approach and an attempt to go into domains which were ‘not social work’s concern’. These anxieties and concerns are, in our view, manifestly misguided, but the voicing of such concerns does alert us to the importance of demonstrating just how and in what ways the human body does indeed lie at the centre of social work thinking and practice. It is our contention that only by placing the body at the centre will we achieve both a unity within social work theorizing and practice and ensure that its unique contribution to the human sciences — and to human lives — will be maintained.
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