The Poet/practitioner: A Paradigm for the Profession

By Furman, Rich; Langer, Carol L. et al. | Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, September 2006 | Go to article overview

The Poet/practitioner: A Paradigm for the Profession


Furman, Rich, Langer, Carol L., Anderson, Debra K., Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare


This article explores a new paradigm or model for the professional social worker: The poet/practitioner. The training and practice of the poet are congruent with many aspects of social work practice. An examination of the practice of the poet, and the congruence of these practices to social work, reveals a paradigm with the capacity to focus social workers on the essential values of our profession. This paradigm, which highlights the humanistic, creative, and socially conscience role of the social work practitioner, may be particularly important today given the medicalization of social problems and the conservitization of society.

Keywords: poet, practitioner, social work, social work practice

Introduction

The social values of a professional group are its basic and fundamental beliefs, the unquestioned premises upon which its very existence rests. Foremost among these values is the essential worth of the service which the professional group extends to the community. The profession considers that the service is a social good and that community welfare would be immeasurably impaired by its absence (Greenwood, 1957, p.52).

Throughout its history, social work has grappled with its professional role and identity (Arkava, 1967; Berlin, 1990; Dziegielewski, 2004; Kolevzon & Maykranz, 1982; Meyer, 1973). The search for professional identity may be essential to professional life and is engaged in by numerous professions. Defining a profession is a dynamic, evolving process deeply linked to shifts within the society the profession serves (Payne, 1997). Social change exerts pressures upon a profession to adapt to society's evolving needs (Kreuger, 1997). When a profession fails to adapt to its social context, professional drift occurs (Shulman, 1991). In such instances, members of a profession lose touch with the profession's mission, its values, and its modalities for meeting its aims. Postman (1992) has noted that social means of production have changed faster during this century than during any other millennium in history. Professions now exist in a state of flux and must engage in a constant process of creating and re-creating their role visa vis society. This process has special currency to a profession such as social work, which is not merely a passive player in the process of social change, but itself is a change agent acting upon the forces that simultaneously act upon it.

The purpose of this article is to explore a new paradigm for the professional social worker: the poet/practitioner. The training and practice of the poet are congruent with many aspects of social work practice. Examining the skills, attributes, and values of the poet, and their congruence to social work values, skills and knowledge, may lead to a paradigm with the capacity to focus social workers on the essential features of the profession. This paradigm, which highlights the humanistic, creative, and socially conscious role of the social work practitioner, may be particularly important today, given the medicalization of social problems and the conservitization of society.

This paper will achieve its aims in several ways. First, a discussion of historical paradigms that have guided the profession will be presented. Second, the nature of poetry and the poet will be addressed. Third, a historical account of poetry and the poetic in social work practice and education will provide an additional historical context to the discussion. Fourth, a new paradigm for the profession, the poet/practitioner, is proposed.

Historical Paradigms For Social Work Practice

Proponents have advanced various paradigms for the profession of social work (van Wormer, 1997). According to Goldstein (1990), social work has traveled down two distinct epistemological tracks, the positivist and the humanistic. These two worldviews are apparent in the different paradigms that social workers have adopted as guides to professional action. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Poet/practitioner: A Paradigm for the Profession
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.