Proximity and Distance in Social Work

Term Paper, 2010

10 Pages, Grade: 1,3

Abstract or Introduction

In social work, closeness and distance play a very important role as they are fundamental components of interpersonal contact. Every social worker is confronted with proximity and distance on a daily basis. The questions of closeness and distance are omnipresent in the practice of social work in everyday interactions with clients, as well as with colleagues.

It aims at one of the central dimensions in the question of the self-understanding of social work and is usually understood and lived very differently. Some insist on closeness, they insist that social pedagogical action is determined by the quality of the relationship work, the engagement and the building of trust. The others, on the other hand, see the professional ability to distance as the actual characteristic of social pedagogical action.

In the following, I would like to address various points on this topic. To begin with, it must first be clarified what is meant by the terms proximity and distance in relation to social work. Then I will describe in more detail the role that closeness and distance play in everyday interaction. In the next part, pedagogical closeness and distance will be examined in more detail based on the work with adolescents. Furthermore, proximity and distance will be described in more detail using the example of lifeworld-oriented social work. In the last part, the concept of structured openness is briefly introduced.


Proximity and Distance in Social Work
University of Applied Sciences Fulda
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ISBN (eBook)
proximity, distance, social, work
Quote paper
Clarissa Seban (Author), 2010, Proximity and Distance in Social Work, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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