Social work as everyday and ordinary knowledge, not expert knowledge?
What is it about?
The professional knowledge in social work practice during and after the Norwegian NAV reform. The study found social workers articulating their professional ethical perspectives (how they do, doing “good”) as social work while defining themselves as ‘us’ distinct from their new colleagues. Paradoxically, they found themselves facing challenges in articulating social work theoretically (what they do). In de-emphasizing the theoretical in favour of the principles and practical benefits of their profession, they took on roles of pragmatic and non-protectionist professionals.
Why is it important?
When Norwegian social workers at the NAV offices experience and explain social work as professional knowledge and theory, - they often became pragmatic in their efforts to safeguard the best interests of clients while being nonprotective of their professional knowledge in claiming everyone can practice social work if what one does is ‘good’ (how). Their focus was not necessarily on what they did as social workers – but on how (doing good) they did it. One possible consequence of this is that the expert knowledge involved in social work may become degraded to ordinary and everyday knowledge.
The following have contributed to this page: Anita Røysum