Social Work Benefits and Risks through Evaluations of Social Workers


Еlutina М.E.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Head of the Chair of Social Work Sociology, Saratov National Research State University named after N.G. Chernyshevsky, Saratov, Russia. elutina133@mail.ru

Klimova S.V.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Saratov Regional Basic Medical College, Saratov, Russia. klimovasv@yandex.ru

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250009560-9
ID of the Article:


For citation:

Еlutina М.E., Klimova S.V. Social Work Benefits and Risks through Evaluations of Social Workers. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 11. P. 107-117




Abstract

The article is devoted to the study of social work benefits and risks in the Integrated Center for Social Services. It is based on the material of “internal” criticism. The research features are as follows: how social workers determine meaning of their activities; what are the motives for joining profession; how they determine the situation of interacting with clients, what are their expectations regarding the motives and actions of clients; which are established practices of relationships/interactions and their purely practical reasons. The analysis of in-depth interviews with social workers of the Integrated Center for Social Services allowed identifying substantial difficulties, vulnerabilities and advantages of this job. A study of mechanics of social workers’ behavior (ways to achieve credibility of clients, reasons for losing it) reveals the nature of their interaction with clients, as well as their logic of “circumventing” regulatory requirements and overcoming the boundaries of their own habits by expanding the range of orientating values in search for alternative solutions of everyday problems of customers life. In their professional work social workers tend to show characterological and/or professionally instilled moral orientation, rather than a self-seeking desire for personal advantages. Otherwise, inevitably the situation arises, which might be described as “a round peg in a square hole”. The close interdependence of such practices of social workers and their clients often leads to development of common culture in joint participation. It is especially important for older people who are cut off from any stable primary ties. According to the respondents, the profession of a social worker has a positive rating of “developed moral feeling”, but significantly lags behind in other indicators. It is still mainly branded as mechanical activity.


Keywords
social work; social services; sources of motivation; care and maintenance practices; professional status; and culture of joint participation

References

Balabanova E.S. (2016) The Concept of Meritocracy in Contemporary Organizational Studies. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology]. Vol. XIX. No. 2: 60–73. (In Russ.)

Berger P., Lukman T. (1995) The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Moscow: Academia-tsentr; Medium. (In Russ.)

Bobyleva N.I., Shovina E.N. (2015) Social Worker in Recent Russian Anecdotes. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 7: 107–116. (In Russ.)

Hughes E.C. (2008) Mistakes at Work. Zhurnal issledovaniy sotsialnoy politiki [The Journal of Social Policy Studies]. Vol. 6. No. 3: 385–396. (In Russ.)

Lefebvre H. (2007) Everyday and Everydayness. Sotsiologicheskoe obozrenie [Russian Sociological Review]. Vol. 6. No. 3: 33–36. (In Russ.)

Luman N. (2000) Forms of Help under Changing Societal Conditions. Sotsiologicheskiy zhurnal [Sociological Journal]. No. 1–2: 16–35. (In Russ.)

Kholostova E.I. (2003) Genesis of Social Work in Russia. Otechestvennyy zhurnal sotsialnoy raboty [Russian Journal of Social Work]. No. 3: 27–48. (In Russ.)

Malofeev I.V. (2012) Social Services in the Social Service System. Moscow: Dashkov i K. (In Russ.)

Romanov P.V. (2007) New Ideology and Practice of Social Services: Efficiency Assessment in the Context of Social Policy Liberalization. In: Romanov P.V., Yarskaya-Smirnova E.R. (eds) Evaluation of Social Support Institutions Effectiveness. Moscow: MONF; TsSPGI: 9–36. (In Russ.)

Shilo A.S. (2015) Social Work Profession in Russia: Contradictions of the Modern Development Stage. Sovremennye issledovaniya sotsialnykh problem (elektronnyj nauchnyj zhurnal) [Modern Studies of Social Issues (Online Scientific Journal)]. No. 6: 111–123. (In Russ.)

Schutz A. (2003) The Semantic Structure of the Everyday World: Essays on Phenomenological Sociology. Moscow: In-t Fonda “Obshchestvennoe mnenie”. (In Russ.)

Content No 11, 2020