• Sine Hansen Bertelsen
  • Jeanett Lind
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
The purpose of this research is to contribute to the ongoing debate about whether social work exist in the employment effort in the front line of the jobcentres. This research seeks to contribute with an understanding to how social professionalism is to manifest itself in addition to the assessment which the frontline workers conduct regarding the job readiness of the recipients of cash benefits. This research is based upon philosophical hermeneutics which allows us to obtain an understanding about the way in which the frontline workers reflect and make their assessments regarding the recipient of cash benefits. To examine this the vignette method is applied. In accordance to this qualitative method two illustrations of recipients of cash benefits are drawn up. Given these illustrations (vignettes) the frontline workers are to answer the research questions which are carefully prepared. The empirical data is based upon four qualitative interviews with four frontline workers working in the same jobcentre. The frontline within the ambit of unemployment constitute the frame of the empirical focus. Furthermore, the analysis of the findings of this research, draw on inspiration from Erving Goffman and the ideology within the workfare paradigm with an inductive approach.
This research shows that social professionalism is difficult to place which raises a discussion about what determines social professionalism. Instead it shows how the frontline workers use different types of handling strategies and handling tendencies in their work with recipients of cash benefits, which also apply their various assessments.
The workfare paradigm has an eminent influence on the fact that it is these exact handling strategies which are applied. These handling strategies are characterized by being used in a way in which they try to satisfy the demands of the system rather than taking recipients of cash benefits into account. By doing so, the perspective of recipients of cash benefits seem to be absent. The research shows that the frontline workers use these strategies in a way in which they seem to be latent handling strategies. The workfare paradigm is furthermore expressed regarding the way in which the respondents draw on stereotypical and normative expectations towards recipients of cash benefits, which is a decisive factor regarding how they make their assessments. Another decisive factor towards the assessments made by the frontline workers is their need to involve the appearance and behaviour of recipients of cash benefits.
With this research, we try to contribute to the ongoing debate about whether social work have a position within the employment effort and to point out some areas within social work in need of further development.
Publication date11 Jul 2017
Number of pages101
ID: 260691783