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Setting and crossing boundaries: professionalization of social work and social work professionalism


Heite, Catrin (2012). Setting and crossing boundaries: professionalization of social work and social work professionalism. Social Work and Society, 10(2):online.

Abstract

How is a profession distinguished from a non-profession? In what ways is the boundary between profession and non-profession marked, transformed, and dealt with? And how is social work professionalized in these processes of boundary-setting and boundary transformation? In the perspective of Social Work as Working at the Border I address professionalization, as well as professionalism as boundary-work, boundary-setting and boundary-crossing. This aspect of boundary transformation is discussed in terms of the theory of profession: how does the process of professionalization occur? What is the connection between professionalization, science, politics and the social question? With reference to these questions, a boundary-analytic perspective is outlined in order to review the emergence and development of social work as a profession, and professional ways of handling social inequalities: how is the boundary between profession and non-profession set, secured and transformed? How could this boundary be crossed in processes of professionalization? In the concluding remarks the issue of professionalization as a process will be reversed into the question of professionalism as a mode of practice. Social work will thus be related to a notion of critique, and conceived of as professional boundary-work in the context of social inequality.

Abstract

How is a profession distinguished from a non-profession? In what ways is the boundary between profession and non-profession marked, transformed, and dealt with? And how is social work professionalized in these processes of boundary-setting and boundary transformation? In the perspective of Social Work as Working at the Border I address professionalization, as well as professionalism as boundary-work, boundary-setting and boundary-crossing. This aspect of boundary transformation is discussed in terms of the theory of profession: how does the process of professionalization occur? What is the connection between professionalization, science, politics and the social question? With reference to these questions, a boundary-analytic perspective is outlined in order to review the emergence and development of social work as a profession, and professional ways of handling social inequalities: how is the boundary between profession and non-profession set, secured and transformed? How could this boundary be crossed in processes of professionalization? In the concluding remarks the issue of professionalization as a process will be reversed into the question of professionalism as a mode of practice. Social work will thus be related to a notion of critique, and conceived of as professional boundary-work in the context of social inequality.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Education
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:26 Nov 2013 07:52
Last Modified:09 Jun 2017 09:59
Publisher:Social Work & Society
ISSN:1613-8953
Additional Information:Special Issue "Social Work as Working at the Border", ed. by Catrin Heite, Fabian Kessl & Susanne Maurer
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/334/671
Related URLs:http://www.socwork.net/sws/index (Publisher)

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