An introduction to social work
An introduction to social work

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

An introduction to social work

Placing biography in context

It’s important to be cautious about generalising on the basis of a single biographical account, such as that of Mary Baker in the previous section. Not all children’s homes were this brutal. But removing such young children from their families and taking them to settle in new homes would have been distressing experiences (Humpries and Gordon, 1992, pp. 71–2).

Thus, the biography (or autobiography) of an individual must be placed in context and evaluated carefully. But when it is used sensitively, the life story can contribute to our understanding of individual experience as well as history. Thus, it is central to social work practice.

K113_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371