Graphik: Bulletpoint Abstracts issue 1/2020 (English)

Marlene Ecker/ Barbara Haas: On the Left and the Right Hand of the State: New Insecurities in Social Work in Austria: How Do Social Workers Perceive the Precarity of their Own Occupational Field and the Living Condition of their

This article shows how social workers perceive their own occupational field and how this self-perception is related to the awareness of precarity among their clients. Drawing on the methodological approach of Grounded Theory, qualitative interviews with social workers in Austria have been conducted and analyzed. As a result we suggest to extend the concept of precarity by including the dimensions of institutional dependency. Within a hierarchical system, social workers experience various constraints in terms of time schedule, the organisation of work and the growing importance of economic figures. The lack in decision-making power is in stark contrast to the self-responsibility and to the intrinsic motivation, focusing on what is best for the clients. Increasing insecurities in the profession of social work affect the social workers as well as their clients, showing a strong interdependency between different kinds of precarity.

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