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Face-to-face: Social work and evil

Humphrey, Caroline


Caroline Humphrey


The concept of evil continues to feature in public discourses and has been reinvigorated in some academic disciplines and caring professions. This article navigates social workers through the controversy surrounding evil so that they are better equipped to acknowledge, reframe or repudiate attributions of evil in respect of themselves, their service users or the societal contexts impinging upon both. A tour of the landscape of evil brings us face-to-face with moral, administrative, societal and metaphysical evils, although it terminates in an exhortation to cultivate a more metaphorical language. The implications for social work ethics, practice and education are also discussed.


Humphrey, C. (2015). Face-to-face: Social work and evil. Ethics & social welfare, 9(1), 35-49.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Oct 17, 2014
Publication Date Jan 2, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 22, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 22, 2015
Journal Ethics and social welfare
Print ISSN 1749-6535
Electronic ISSN 1749-6543
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 1
Pages 35-49
Keywords Evil, Social work, Controversy, Philosophy, Metaphors
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Ethics and social welfare on 17/10/2014, available online:


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