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The gist of Collier’s genuinely radical book is that for the rural social worker to be effective, she must be able to identify with the struggles of the people she is trying to help — that trying to maintain “professional”, “objective” distance will merely ensure that the social worker becomes part of the problem rather than part of the solution. For the social worker in a smaller community, “Whose side are you on?” is the most important question to be answered before any effective work can be done. It is an indictment of the slow pace of progress against the societal problems facing rural populations that a third edition of Social Work With Rural Peoples is necessary.
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