Journal Article

Dragged to Market: Being a Profession in the Postmodern World


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 177-194
Published in print April 1996 | ISSN: 0045-3102
e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Dragged to Market: Being a Profession in the Postmodern World

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Under a regime of quasi-markets, UK public sector occupations are having to promote themselves as enterprising and argue their case for a share of public spending. Much of this takes place through the news media. In order to do this effectively, some kind of professional grouping is essential. The paper reviews the failure of non-probation social work to achieve a professional formation thus far. Rejecting explanations rooted in attitudes, values and gender, it argues that the core problem since the early 1970s has been the shifting nature of social senices work because of central government policy changes. Now that the profile of social senices tasks is more settled, it is time for social workers to abandon their reluctance to claim distinctive expertise and set about developing a more confident set of intellectual skills and thus an effective voice. In a postmodern age of sceptical consumers they need not fear élitism as they will, rather, be judged by their effectiveness.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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