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Title: The declared political identity of social workers in a neoliberal era
Author: Gwilym, Hefin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 0044
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the impact of neoliberalism on the political identity of social workers. It discusses social work as an inherently political activity that has been under attack since the advent and domination of neoliberalism since the early 1980s. It explores social work's roots in social reform and social justice and how today social work has become a depoliticised and technocratic activity. The thesis explores these phenomena through an empirical study of fourteen social workers who have a declared and enacted political identity, such as parliamentarians. It takes a biographical inquiry approach to examining their identity from early development of social reformist and social justice perspectives to facing the dilemma of neoliberalism in social work. It also deploys a constructivist grounded theory analytical process to analyse the biographical interviews and construct a substantive theory. What emerges is a study of social workers managing their social work identity in the face of changes within the social work profession and sustaining a stable social reformist political identity throughout their life course to date. It also demonstrates how strongly attached the participants are to their social work identity during their political careers. The thesis has importance for the social work profession not least because this cohort can advocate on behalf of the profession in powerful places.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.S.W.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General)