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|Title:||When Values Collide: Perceptions of Ethical Social Work in Neoliberal Contexts|
|Keywords:||Social Work Ethics;Values in Social Work;Neoliberalism;Social Work Education|
|Abstract:||Critical literature on social work ethics and practice in the current neoliberal context identifies the complex tensions generated for practitioners by the restructuring of increasingly residual public programs and by the market-modelled organizations in which they work. Pressed by employing organizations’ expectations to narrow and standardize their practice, social workers face collisions between their own values and the managerial and budget-driven requirements that dominate their organizational worlds. Building on the growing body of literature in this area, the research reported here examined how social workers articulate their own values and ethical commitments, understand the value collisions they experience, and work to navigate them in the interest of those they seek to serve. A small qualitative study was conducted to explore these questions. In semi-structured interviews, five social workers were invited to share their experiences of ethical tensions generated in their organizational settings. The members of the sample all held social work degrees; their ages and length of practice experience ranged considerably and they spoke from experiences in a wide array of service sectors and settings. Analysis of participants’ experiences illuminated the texture of their struggles and their efforts to covertly and overtly challenge or evade organizational requirements that were at odds with their values and their conceptualizations of good practice. Their accounts point to the importance of politicized understandings of social work ethics. They also suggest the importance for social work education and professional development programs to foster dialogue on the complexities of ethical action and support the development of the analytical and practical skills that enable practitioners to find the ‘cracks’ in dominant neoliberal structures and create spaces for change.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|bouma_chad_j_finalsubmission2015september_masterofsocialwork.pdf||Masters Thesis||1.22 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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