This thesis deals with the conceptual as well as the programmatic transformation of empowerment. The concept of Empowerment has taken an important role for Social Work, both theoretically and practically, and also especially in the context of community work and development policy. Originally empowerment was a concept of the black civil-rights-movement in the US and had almost no connection to Social Work. Over the past decades professionals of Social Work referred to the concept of empowerment and adopted it for their own demands. In order to have a more precise categorization, there are some more key terms that are going to be addressed. Besides the history of empowerment, there are key words such as postdevelopment and postcolonialism. Nowadays the common understanding of empowerment concerning Social Work is a modified and weakened modification of the originally political idea. Therefore there is a lot of critics from theorists representing postcolonial thoughts concerning the practice of empowerment. This thesis is trying to scientifically pick up these critiques and discuss them. Additionally the question will be followed, what conditions are mandatory in order to have an emancipatory empowerment- led Social Work.
The title of the thesis is ‘Empowerment within Social Work. A consideration of an emancipatory, postcolonial-critical perspective’