Social Justice, Respect and Professional Integrity: The Social Work Discipline and Profession as a Place of Congruence for Working Class Academics

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The Monash University Social Work Department has a number of academics whoidentify as having working-class backgrounds. These backgrounds are diverse, andinclude a range of rural, migrant, urban and religious influences. Here, we presentour biographical journeys toward our current careers as social work academics andconsider the ways in which our diverse working class backgrounds have led to andinfluenced the unfolding of our academic social work careers. In writing about ourunique journeys to academia we suggest that our chosen field, social work, is in someways aligned with our working class origins, and we explore this from the diverseperspectives of rural, migrant, urban, and religious working class backgrounds.While recognising our differences we also note that there are common themes acrossour experiences that have led us to social work (a profession with a strong valuesbase committed to principles of social justice and advocacy), and suggest that thesecommon themes continue to be important in our commitment to the social workprofession. These principles, which impact on our current teaching and researchactivities, are also inherent in the underlying practice philosophy of social work.Consequently, we explore the links between our working class backgrounds, ourchoices in developing careers in social work academia, and the ways in which thisbackground impacts on our current teaching and research activities, and our ongoingcommitment to the profession of social work and socially inclusive practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBread and Roses
Subtitle of host publicationVoices of Australian Academics from the Working Class
EditorsDee Mitchell, Jacqueline Z Wilson, Verity Archer
Place of PublicationRotterdam The Netherlands
PublisherSense Publishers
Pages147 - 161
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9789463001250
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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