Society is undergoing change, and, as a result, social welfare services - including social work - are being transformed. This book explores the sociological basis of contemporary society and shows how social workers experience tensions and contradictions in practice. The book uses case studies and self directed activities to enable students to relate sociology to daily lives. It explores key themes in turn, examining their relevance for social work and how they can be applied to practice, particularly in areas such as children and families, mental health, disability and older people.Relevant and accessible, the authors explore aspects of class, ethnicity and gender and conclude with suggestions of how sociology can inform practice and enable social work to engage with processes of transformation.The book provides essential material for students of social work and social care, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It will also be relevance to social policy and sociology undergraduates.