African Journal of Social Work

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Social work in diverse ethno-cultural contexts: a case study of Nigeria

Thomas Akintayo, Juha Hämäläinen, Sari Rissanen


A case study of Nigeria was conducted to ascertain the impact of social work on the country’s ethno-cultural diversity and its impartation of local knowledge to the profession via a triangulation technique, which involved searching for evidence of multicultural social work, culturally rooted social development, indigenous social work, and/or related terms. The document analysis showed an inadequate connection between the governed and the government regarding the conceptual ambiguity in Nigeria’s welfare regimes, particularly in relation to the country’s ethno-cultural diversity and social work. The Systematic Literature Review (SLR) revealed a quite limited focus (2.17% of articles from an average of 69, s=57.8) on social work related to ethno-cultural diversity due to basic constitutional inadequacies, vacillating social policies and a lack of statutory basis for social work. A replication of the substantive aim of this study is recommended, either in Nigeria (for models and theories) or other multicultural societies, to enrich the social work profession scientifically amid the increasing global ethno-cultural diversity.

Keywords: case study, ethno-cultural diversity, multiculturalism, Nigeria, social development, indigenous social work

AJOL African Journals Online