Social work is a profession that is increasingly involved with issues which have a global dimension. This Handbook tackles the global/local aspect of social work in its various forms and interrogates the key concerns that societies are facing through an international lens. The contributors show that, with an appreciation of commonalities and differences, local practices and appropriate forms of international activity can be better developed.

Adulthood: Some Comparative and International Perspectives

Adulthood: Some comparative and international perspectives
Ruby C. M.Chau

Introduction

This chapter, with an emphasis on the comparative and international perspectives of adulthood, has three aims. Firstly, it explores meanings of contemporary adulthood as a specific stage of life. Secondly, it examines the effectiveness of work and family as two major institutions in enabling adults to have their needs and social roles fulfilled, and considers the current welfare responses to the diverse needs of adults with different socioeconomic characteristics. Last but not least, it suggests future directions in policy, research and practice in order to address both homogeneity and diversity in adulthood.

Corresponding to these three aims, this chapter is divided into three parts. The first part explores contemporary understandings of adulthood. The ...

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