Studying social work: neoliberalism, institutional ethnography and a program of undergraduate social work education

Date created: 
2007
Keywords: 
Social Work – History
Social Work Education – British Columbia
Social Work Education – Canada
Neoliberalism
Social work
Social work education
Neoliberalism
Social services
Professionalism
Social justice
Abstract: 

Starting from the observation that social work students and faculty conceive of social work as an area of thought and activity separate from its practice, this thesis explores the historical and current relationship between social work education and (neo)liberal governance. Drawing on the theoretical developments of Rose (1996a; 1996b) and Fraser (1989), qualitative interviews with students and faculty at a social work program in British Columbia and analyses of program-related texts, I argue that social work education methods fail to interrogate the professional power of social workers associated with credentials, policy and agency mandates. Ultimately, social work education preserves the definition of social work as an activity of social justice without successfully protesting the neoliberal trend toward elimination and reduction of state social welfare provisions current in Canadian social services.

Description: 
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Language: 
English
Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
D
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)
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