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Professional Social Workers’ viewpoints on the Development of Social Work in Mainland China：The Case of N City’s Social Workers
social work,professional development,professional identity,policy transfer,social work knowledge production mode,
|Publication Year :||2019|
Social work in mainland China was transplanted from the west. In recent years, although great progress has been made under the support of the government, many problems such as the high turnover rate of social workers, as well as the gap between learning and applying social work expertise, have still plagued the development of social work profession. Moreover, many small and medium-sized cities have encountered more difficulties in social work development than megacities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, which should be taken seriously. Therefore, the author determined to choose N city as the representative of the small and medium-sized cities as the field of this research, utilizing qualitative research in-depth interview method to explore the subjective experience of 8 professional social workers in N city in terms of college education, workplace environment and professional identity, and meanwhile discussing the professional development of social work in mainland China.
The author utilized two theoretical viewpoints involving ‘policy transfer’ and ‘social work knowledge production mode’ as the major perspectives. This research aims to examine the current situation and limitation in the development of social work profession through the lens of ‘professional social workers who were trained under external schema’, thereby discussing whether current measures formulated by the government were in compliance with the localization process in China. In addition, professional knowledge constructed by social workers during their adaptation to workplace was also investigated to reflect on the future professional development of social work in mainland China.
According to the research finding, the professional value of social work, college education and workplace practice interacted with one another. Social work education and workplace environment could effectively shape the professional identity of social workers, while strong professional identity could highly promote professional development. It should be noted that the external social work development model was found not compatible with the environment in mainland China. Without sufficient consideration of its own political, economic, social, cultural and other environmental factors, problems and limitations have arisen in both social work college education and workplace environment. That is to say, the social work system introduced from the west was found difficult to be directly and fully applied to China society, which could be regarded as a dysfunctional transfer. Yet, social workers’ high level of professional recognition managed to help them stick to their positions and develop better knowledge and practices which are more compatible with the reality. This could be seen as a valuable process in reaction to the dysfunctional transfer, and furthermore, it could also serve as a basis to provide constructive suggestions for localized model of social work and its future development. In conclusion, the government should not only promote professional education and training for social workers, but also put more emphasis and values on professional social workers’ opinions and experiences, so as to create a stabilized environment for the professional development of social work in China.
|Appears in Collections:||社會工作學系|
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