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Issues » 2009/3 - Different Concepts of Social Work »

Daniela Růžičková, Libor Musil

Do Social Workers Seek for their “Collective Identity”?


The article is devoted to the question: “Do social workers search for their collective identity in the Czech society?” Based on the interviews with social workers, the authors argue for the hypothesis that some social workers would like to substitute “qualified social work focused on clients” for „archaic, chair-borne social work”. They do not strive to reach this goal via comprehensive collective action of the whole group of social workers and prefer to implement it as members of diverse partial groupings specialized on work with specific groups of clients. The authors believe that there is an analogy between social workers half-hearted approach to comprehensive collective action as well as their tendency to implement one goal separately as members of partial groupings on the one hand and the Lyotard thesis that groups tend to be partial and provisional in the post-modern situation on the other hand. Based on this interpretation, they argue for promoting collective activities of partial and specialized groups that implement the idea “of qualified social work focused on clients” by their different and specific ways.


social workers, collective identity, post-modern situation

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