Educating Resilient Social Work Professionals

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This article deals with the concept of vulnerability in social work and how social work students understand the concept of professionalism. The article is based on an empirical study of social worker students and on an analysis of the literature used in the education. Theoretically, the article rests upon vulnerability theory, as elaborated by Martha Fineman. The analysis suggests that the social work students share an understanding of the client as vulnerable and of the social worker as not vulnerable. This understanding entails the view that the social worker is objective and somewhat distanced from his/her clients. The article argues that this understanding runs the risk of producing non-reflexive social work practitioners that are not aware of their own vulnerable position. In conclusion, we state that an understanding of professionalism centred on a shared vulnerability of all beings could bridge the often-used dichotomous understanding of the social worker as either “helper” or “authoritative bureaucrat” and thus lead to a more resilient concept of professionalism.
Sider (fra-til)65-102
Antal sider37
StatusUdgivet - 2021


  • Socialt arbejde og sociale forhold