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 practitioners think 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.

part I|57 pages

Key concepts and perspectives

part II|103 pages

Location, context and workplace culture

chapter 6|15 pages

Vocation and professional identity

Social workers at home and abroad

chapter 9|14 pages

Field, capital and professional identity

Social work in health care

chapter 10|15 pages

Inter-professional collaboration

Strengthening or weakening social work identity?

chapter 12|14 pages

Professional identity in the care and upbringing of children

Towards a praxis of residential childcare

part III|59 pages

Professional education, socialisation and readiness for practice

chapter 14|14 pages

Credible performances

Affect and professional identity

chapter 15|15 pages

Making professional identity

Narrative work and fateful moments