What is reconceptualization?

What Does reconceptualization Mean

The notion of reconceptualization is not part of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ). Instead, the term conceptualization does appear , which refers to the process of conceptualizing (developing concepts on a topic).

The inclusion of the prefix re- suggests, therefore, that reconceptualization is the result of re-conceptualizing . It is about the practice that leads to rethinking something to generate different concepts on the subject.
Let us suppose that a non-governmental organization has been doing some work for two decades to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of a rural community. With the aim of perfecting their work and helping those who need it more efficiently, the NGO managers face a task of reconceptualizing the entity: in this way, they begin to analyze what type of tasks they are developing, reflect on what jobs they should do, etc. The result of this process will be a new conception of the organization.

The idea of ​​reconceptualization is often applied to the field of social work . At the end of the 1960s , inspired by the thoughts of Antonio Gramsci , a reconceptualization movement emerged that proposed to modify the object of social work so that it moves away from welfare and adopts a critical stance, taking into account the political context of the field of action.
It should not be forgotten that it began specifically in countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, and later did the same for Chile and the rest of Latin America.
The reconceptualization of social work was promoted in Latin America, although its scope reached the whole world and influenced the discipline at a general level. It is important to differentiate between reconceptualization, which invites a new understanding of social work, and updating knowledge.
In addition to all that has been said about the aforementioned reconceptualization in the field of Social Work, it is necessary to know other important aspects such as these, which come to explain its reason for being or what it has meant since it appeared for the first time:

-It ended with the proposals previous reports on that aforementioned discipline and opted for leaving the methods that were considered ineffective.

-It was committed to renewing and improving systems already used to better adapt them to the circumstances of the moment and to achieve better results. That is, to achieve more effective methods in order to understand and adequately serve society.

-Other of the men who have most influenced the development, expansion and consolidation of the aforementioned reconceptualization is Pablo Frire, who began to leave his mark in the 1970s. Specifically, what he stated was that the time to end the figure of the professional with a descriptive and passive attitude. Thus, it established that it was necessary to ensure that this was more active, that it establish a relationship with the other party of greater equality and also based on dialogue.

-The whole set of ideas that Frire served as the basis for, years later, in Spain to give shape to what is known as the Basic and Integrated Method, which would be fundamental within the Social Work sector.

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