The development of social care work in Germany and the US: theorising the result of cultural understandings and policy responses to concepts of ‘individualism’ during the nineteenth century

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The now-emerging development of social pedagogy in the US continues to benefit greatly from better understanding how social pedagogy has evolved as a profession in countries where it is well established, such as Germany. The necessity for a unified definition of ‘social pedagogy’ appears to be desired increasingly by countries around the world in regard to social pedagogical theories and methods. Building such a definition requires an understanding of the development of the practices inherent in social care work as a whole, from which social pedagogy has emerged. This article proposes that the praxis and philosophies which formed social care work in Germany and the US, and which remains as Sozialpädagogische Arbeit (social pedagogical work) in Germany, had at one time in history experienced similar and complementary growth in the US. The article also explores concepts of ‘individualism’ as one area in which said philosophies began to diverge.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalInternational Journal of Social Pedagogy
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 10.2022