Maybe you can be too resilient: a sociological investigation into how student social workers perceive resilience in their practice

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Resilience has attracted immense interest for researchers and practitioners. Arguably, resilience is a laudable quality, and post-COVID-19, the need for resilience is greater. Most studies examining resilience are socially blind and place emphasis on individual responsibility. Developing this critique further, this is the first study that draws significantly on the ideas of Charles Wright Mills and his defining principles to relate the ‘private’ concerns of being resilient to the ‘public’ context that creates this experience. This article presents a qualitative study that investigated how student social workers perceived resilience in their practice. A total of 16 social work students were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. The aim of the article is to analyse the capacity for resilience to be deployed as a means of exercising domination over social work students in order to exploit and control them. An alternative conception of resilience is promoted that advocates a collective response to the challenges facing social workers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalCritical and Radical Social Work
Early online date11 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Dec 2023

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