Developing an ideal-typical approach to social work as a profession

Authors Ed de Jonge
Published in Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice
Publication date 2019
Research groups Innovative Social Services
Type Article

Summary

According to the global definition (IFSW, 2014), social work is a profession. Since the second half of the twentieth century, however, the meaning of professionalism has become blurred and its practices have been criticized fiercely. In order to understand, appreciate and strengthen social work as a profession, a sociological equivalent of positive psychology might be needed. Such a positive sociology (Stebbins, 2009) of professionalism would focus unequivocally on its meaningful and valuable potential. In this respect, Freidson’s (2001) ideal-typical approach of professionalism is quite promising. Its outcome does not fully meet Weber’s (1904, 1913, 1922) criteria for an idealtypical construction, though. This article argues that it is impossible to develop a solid scientific ideal type of professionalism based on a power perspective, as tried by Freidson (2001). A value perspective opens up a more promising approach for strengthening social work as a profession.

researchcomponents.publicationcontent.personslist.publicationauthors

  • Ed de Jonge | Researcher | Innovative Social Services
    Ed de Jonge
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Innovative Social Services

Language English
Published in Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice
Year and volume 28 1
Key words Social work, profession, positive sociology, ideal-typical approach, power, value, expertise
Page range 3-19

Ed de Jonge

Ed de Jonge | Researcher | Innovative Social Services

Ed de Jonge

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Innovative Social Services