Reappraisal of Empowerment through Giddens's Theory of Reflexivity -In Quest of the Integrated Paradigm for Social Welfare Practice-

기든스(Giddens)의 성찰성 이론을 통한 임파워먼트의 재해석 -통합적 사회복지실천 패러다임에 대한 탐색-

  • Received : 2013.02.12
  • Accepted : 2013.04.20
  • Published : 2013.05.31


Although both ecosystem theory and empowerment have become the most prevalent candidate for integrated paradigm for social welfare practices, they could not overcome completely the long-standing and sharp divides between micro and macro practices, that is, between subject and structure as a main explanatory element in social welfare realm. Along with such traditional dualism and tension, a new emerging divide between modernism and postmodernism regarding intrinsic mission and roles of social welfare has urged strongly to develop the overarching theoretical framework for social welfare practice. In this regard, this study aims to recast the ecosystem theory and empowerment through the reflexive modernization theory of critical sociologist Anthony Giddens. With relatively strong emphasis on human capability coined as the reflexivity, Giddens's own creative theory of modernization can be thoroughly expected to provide a solid foundation of integrated paradigm enough to bridge the existing dualisms in social welfare theory and practice. Especially, his unique account of integrated way of how human agency is involved in the construction of social structure and how to transform each other recursively has profound implication for empowerment to be adequate and proper comprehensive framework for social welfare practice.


Giddens;Structuration theory;Eco-system;Empowerment;Theory of Reflexivity