Presentation Title

How Capitalism Seeks to Define the Relationship Between Social Workers and Their Clients

Abstract

Abstract

This paper examines how the capitalist paradigm affects the relationships between social workers and the individuals they serve. Social work as a profession emerged as the industrial revolution and neoliberalism impacted the sociocultural environment. At the same time, the power dynamics inherent in capitalism shaped economic and governmental policies that institutionalized social inequity. For social work to function within a paradigm of institutionalized inequity, it had become entrenched within the very institutions it recognized as perpetuating social injustice. To navigate inside the systems the profession wished to change without becoming subsumed by other agendas, seven national social agencies combined to form the National Social Workers Association (NASW). The NASW created a code of ethics. The code was put in place to ground social workers as they piloted within the three spheres of the profession: individual casework, social administration, and social action. While it is important to understand how capitalism shapes the attitudes and beliefs of the community’s social workers serve, it is vital that social workers remain vigilantly aware of the effect capitalism has on their professional lens.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Susan Comerford

Status

Graduate

Student College

Graduate College

Program/Major

Social Work

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

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How Capitalism Seeks to Define the Relationship Between Social Workers and Their Clients

Abstract

This paper examines how the capitalist paradigm affects the relationships between social workers and the individuals they serve. Social work as a profession emerged as the industrial revolution and neoliberalism impacted the sociocultural environment. At the same time, the power dynamics inherent in capitalism shaped economic and governmental policies that institutionalized social inequity. For social work to function within a paradigm of institutionalized inequity, it had become entrenched within the very institutions it recognized as perpetuating social injustice. To navigate inside the systems the profession wished to change without becoming subsumed by other agendas, seven national social agencies combined to form the National Social Workers Association (NASW). The NASW created a code of ethics. The code was put in place to ground social workers as they piloted within the three spheres of the profession: individual casework, social administration, and social action. While it is important to understand how capitalism shapes the attitudes and beliefs of the community’s social workers serve, it is vital that social workers remain vigilantly aware of the effect capitalism has on their professional lens.