The process to decolonize social work has produced significant outcomes, including, but not limited to a crop of African social workers who are clear about what decolonization is and why it is necessary. This has increased understanding and appreciation of indigenization, as already being reflected in research, teaching and practice of social work in Africa. Social work publications that challenge dominance of non-African literature are increasing.

However, social work research methodology remains one area that still lags and is yet to be fully decolonized and indigenized. Research methods refer to the way research is done and the study of the way research is done. The research materials that we read are often based on and grounded in non-African research settings, the research that we do is also largely driven by non-African methods, models, frameworks or theories. A good example is when writers and students use western writers in their methodology section and use ideas of western writers to shape their methods without use of African literature at all. The same applies to discussion and interpretation of research findings.

Another example, teachers of research methods courses in Africa use western textbooks to teach and librarians stock their libraries with these books. The problem is not merely caused by lecturers and librarians, at times the literature that speaks to unique African contexts is missing or inadequate. This special issue seeks to address this knowledge hegemony. We strongly feel that as a leading social work publication on the continent, the AJSW has a key role to play in the decolonisation of social science research methods in Africa.

Key dates

Opening of abstracts: 01 November 2021
Deadline for abstracts: 01 December 2021

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