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Issues » 2016/5 - Social Work and Social Entrepreneurship »

Jan Kaňák

Undefined Profesionality: Relationship between Spiritual and Professional Discourses in Social Work in Contemporary Professional Literature


The paper is focused on question: Which social constructions of relationship between profesional and spiritual discourse in social work can be found in contemporary literature? First, I describe how Gee defines categories by which I analyze the construction of the relationship between discourses. Then I define the professional and spiritual discourse in the context of social work. Outputs in analytical part are based on discourse analysis of selected academic texts. Analyses of 71 texts showed that the space of relationship between discourses can be divided by two axes: professional-spiritual exclusivism and benefit for provider / subject of interventions. In this area can be detected five types of construction of relationship: spiritually sensitive social worker, spiritual worker inspired by social work, spiritually sensitive social work, spiritually oriented social work and theology sensitive to social work. The difference between them lies in different definition of Expected public good bound to the client, a worker, or salvation (God), and also in what intervention are seen as adequate.


discourse, professional project, spirituality, discoursive analysis

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