Professional Identity and Social Work

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology/Edited Book


How are identities formed among social workers, many of whom perform complex, challenging and ambiguous public sector functions on a regular basis? Why does identity come to matter for professional social work? This book, the first of its kind in the field, examines professional identity in relation to social work by asking how a practitioner thinks of themselves as a ‘social worker¿, a professional self-concept often entangled in a range of relations, beliefs, values and experiences.

Bringing together the perspectives of an internationally renowned group of specialists, the collection addresses a range of issues associated with professional identity construction and 'being professional' in the context of a rapidly changing inter-professional environment. It introduces new concepts to social work, including materiality, enactment, performance, affect, entanglement, capital and worth, to consider the vexed issues surrounding matters of professional identity in social work.

This will be an essential guide to all those keen to debate the challenges and possibilities confronting contemporary social work through the lens of professional identity, whether they are students, educators, practitioners, researchers, managers, policy-makers or associated professionals. It will also appeal to those interested in social theory, organisational sociology and leadership as well as anyone working in related fields of health and education.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages262
ISBN (Electronic)9781315306957
ISBN (Print)9781138234437, 9781138234420
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • social workers
  • professional identity
  • organisational sociology
  • leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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