Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Social work as a moral enterprise
Author: Johns, Jade Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 0692
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
The research undertaken explored social work as a moral enterprise. The study explored social work practice at the 'front-door' of services for children and older people in one English local authority. The study was primarily an interview-based study, but incorporated direct observation and conversational interviewing in order to explore social work practice within Walmsley local authority. Respondents in the four teams were responsible for undertaking assessments, which informed 'threshold-decisions'. The study found social workers were not neutral, impartial decision-makers. Social workers were not merely embedded in decision-making either; decision making was found to be embodied within the culturally and social situated bodies of the social workers. The senses provided social workers with a way of 'seeing' service users and getting a 'feel' for a case. Through embodied assessments, and negotiated performances between social workers and service users, identities were ascribed to service users by respondents. The identities were found to reflect a service users' moral and social position; their 'moral status'. The study highlights the visceral nature of social work practice and argues that moral status is an invisible domain within assessments, but furthers understanding of how social workers make sense of cases. The study found five 'types' of service user within Walmsley local authority; the Vinnie Jones; the Potentials; the Laughable; the Lovelies and the Challengers. The typology helps demonstrate the relationship between moral status, social locations and risk identities. Additionally, the typology illustrates who was found to be deserving, or morally worthy of 'going the extra mile' for.
Supervisor: Warner, Joanne ; Kirton, Derek Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral