Identifying Features of Social Welfare Studies : With the Case of German Research Trends

사회복지학의 정체성 : 독일의 사회정책연구를 사례로

  • Published : 1999.12.25


This Study has two research interests: First, to give a new perspective in searching for the identifying features of social welfare studies in Korea where social welfare is recognized as an independent discipline through an examination of german research trends in social policy, where social policy is not recognized as an independent discipline, but as a field of study. The reasons of non-recognition of social policy studies as an independent discipline in Germany are value problems, vagueness of research objects, and the position of social welfare in relation to another social sciences. Second, to show the trends of german studies in social policy from diverse disciplines, i. e. sociology, political science, law, history, pedagogics etc. and the common points in these studies. The results of this study are as follows. First, the common feature of german Studies on the social policy from diverse disciplins is above all the interest in the improvement of Lebenslage, i. e. conditions of life. Second, the value problems in social sciences are not solved till now, but the interests in the improvement of Lebenslage don't mean studies of social policy must handle with values. The interests in the applicability of social policy don't mean values must be improved in the studies either. Third, the vagueness of the objects can be found also in other social sciences and is not unique in social policy studies. Fourth, the studies, which focuses on the improvement of Lebenslage and can contribute to construct theories such as raising the effectiveness of state intervention must be recognized as studies of social policy, even though they are written by social scientists from other disciplines. This means the theories of social policy to pursue are connected with theories of middle range, i. e. with lower degree of abstraction.