Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The changing face of social work: social worker perceptions of a neoliberalising profession.

Butler-Warke, Alice; Yuill, Chris; Bolger, Janine

Authors

Chris Yuill



Abstract

This article engages with literature on the neoliberalisation of social work but advances the debate by building an argument based on interviews with social work graduates that reveal the perceived changes to the profession over the last 50 years. Based on lived experiences, we show that social work as a profession has experienced significant changes that have occurred both internally and externally to the profession. These changes form part of a larger ideological shift towards neoliberalism. Beginning with the Thatcher administration, intensifying under New Labour’s Third Way and persisting under the Age of Austerity of Prime Ministers Cameron and May, the neoliberalisation of social work has sought to turn it into an outcome-oriented, information-gathering, surveilling profession that no longer relies on its critical and radical value base. We show, however, that despite the neoliberal assault, social workers remain optimistic about the future and loyal to their core values.

Citation

BUTLER-WARKE, A., YUILL, C. and BOLGER, J. 2020. The changing face of social work: social worker perceptions of a neoliberalising profession. Critical and radical social work [online], 8(1), pages 59-75. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1332/204986019X15633629305936

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 17, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 5, 2019
Publication Date Mar 31, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 24, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 6, 2020
Journal Critical and Radical Social Work
Print ISSN 2049-8608
Electronic ISSN 2049-8675
Publisher Policy Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 1
Pages 59-75
DOI https://doi.org/10.1332/204986019X15633629305936
Keywords Neoliberalisation; Austerity; Thatcher; Training; Education
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/595803

Files







You might also like



Downloadable Citations