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An evaluation of the role of school social workers in the State of Qatar

Saleh, Abdulnasser Saleh Mohamed (1994) An evaluation of the role of school social workers in the State of Qatar. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85967) (KAR id:85967)


The aim of this research is to point out that the Western approach in school social work cannot be implemented in non-Western cultures without giving due consideration to the culture and the values of the recipient society. Qatar and the West may list the same values within social work, but the implementation of these values differs. Self determination in the West means that the choice of the individual should be respected in possible, unless it directly infringes the rights of a vulnerable third person. However, in Qatari society, self determination for the individual is limited within the boundaries of Islam and is not considered a right when it contradicts Islamic teaching. This does not mean that the Western approach and theories cannot be used in Qatari schools, but they can be used only when we give the necessary importance to the values and culture of Qatari society, where Islamic principles and teachings play a very important role.

This study is not against Western social work as such, but suggests that we need to use the knowledge and development of social work in the West to develop social work in the Arab world. Within the overall Islamic framework of Islamic principles, the research uses explanatory hypotheses derived from Western role theory to organise and analyse the data. The data is derived from questionnaire surveys of school social workers in Qatar to establish their actual work priorities against their ideal work priorities. Questionnaire surveys of Social Education Department supervisors; heads of schools, teachers, parents and students were also carried out to determine their expectations of school social workers and their evaluations of how well school social workers performed in their role.

The data is analysed in terms of the role theory components of:

(a) socialisation - into the professional role

(b) power - who has the power to determine behaviour in the role

(c) complexity and simplicity - the degree of 'responsible autonomy' and the degree of discretion school social workers are supposed to enjoy, as against how they are controlled and directed by the other people

(d) role conflict - an inevitable aspect of work in complex organisation.

Conclusions are drawn indicating the modifications necessary to relate Western social work ideas of Qatari society and indicating that training for social work practice in an Islamic society should be more closely related to the school setting. The field of school social work is worthy of study in its own right. Unless it is carefully studies, casework, group work and community organisation cannot be effectively practiced within it.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85967
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: sociology; social work; Qatar; Islam; schools
Subjects: H Social Sciences
L Education
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:22 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 00:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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