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Professionalism and Social Work


Dr Mike Thomas, Programme Lead for the MA in Social Work, gave a presentation at an inter-disciplinary event on professionalism: "What is Professional Formation?  Thinking Across and Between Professions", organised by Dr Anne Chappell of the College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences at Brunel University London.  

Mike’s presentation was “To have or to be? Professionalism, Social Work and Social Work education”.  Drawing on Erich Fromm’s work on having and being as alternative and competing kinds of motivation. Mike explored the tensions between social work as driven by personal values and a desire to change society for the better, as opposed to social work as a bureaucratic profession, focusing narrowly on skills and competences.  The presentation concluded with a call for greater reflection on the aims and purpose of Social Work and of Social Work education. 

This event was part of an ongoing dialogue between professional programmes in Social Work, Education, Law, Business and Anthropology at Brunel University London. 

Find out more about the MA in Social Work at Brunel University London.