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Social Work as a Moral Enterprise

Johns, Jade Elizabeth (2016) Social Work as a Moral Enterprise. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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The research undertaken explored social work as a moral enterprise. The study explored social work practice at the 'front-door' of services for children and older people in one English local authority. The study was primarily an interview-based study, but incorporated direct observation and conversational interviewing in order to explore social work practice within Walmsley local authority.

The senses provided social workers with a way of 'seeing' service users and getting a 'feel' for a case. Through embodied assessments, and negotiated performances between social workers and service users, identities were ascribed to service users by respondents. The identities were found to reflect a service users' moral and social position; their 'moral status'. The study highlights the visceral nature of social work practice and argues that moral status is an invisible domain within assessments, but furthers understanding of how social workers make sense of cases.

The study found five 'types' of service user within Walmsley local authority; the Vinnie Jones; the Potentials; the Laughable; the Lovelies and the Challengers. The typology helps demonstrate the relationship between moral status, social locations and risk identities. Additionally, the typology illustrates who was found to be deserving, or morally worthy of 'going the extra mile' for.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Warner, Joanne
Thesis advisor: Kirton, Derek
Uncontrolled keywords: Discretion Moral judgement Moral status
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2017 17:00 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2020 04:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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