Professional identity as a matter of concern

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Why is professional identity a matter of concern for so many different professions and especially for social work? The extent to which the Scottish Changing Lives: Report of the 21st Century Social Work Review dramatically concluded that "the 'crisis' in social work is mainly a matter of professional identity that impacts on recruitment, retention and the understanding of the profession’s basic aims” (2006: 4, my emphasis added). Anecdotally, this concern seems to be ubiquitous across social work, particularly with senior policy makers, professional bodies, management, pressure groups and activists.

What does it mean to say professional identity is a matter of concern? Here I want to pick up from and extend upon where I left off in the opening chapter. If you recall the significance of “mattering” in considerations of professional identity was underlined. The chapter is intended to critically synthesise the various chapter contributions throughout the volume using the lens of matters of concern.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProfessional Identity and Social Work
EditorsStephen A. Webb
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781315306957
ISBN (Print)9781138234437, 9781138234420
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • professional identity
  • social work
  • social work recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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