The Academic Identity and Boundaries Of the Discipline of Social Work : Reflections Of Social Work Professors On the Recruitment and Research Of Doctoral Students In Finland
Forsberg, H., Kuronen, M., & Ritala-Koskinen, A. (2019). The Academic Identity and Boundaries Of the Discipline of Social Work : Reflections Of Social Work Professors On the Recruitment and Research Of Doctoral Students In Finland. British Journal of Social Work, 49(6), 1509-1525. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcz069
Published inBritish Journal of Social Work
© The Author(s) 2019.
Finland has a strong and long tradition of research-oriented doctoral education in social work. Recent general changes in doctoral education, such as increased regulation, internationalisation and time pressures, have had an impact on social work as an academic discipline. This article examines the recruitment of social work doctoral students and the perceived value of doctoral dissertations as academic research. The data consist of written responses by Finnish full professors of social work to open-ended questions presented in an electronic questionnaire. The analysis is based on the idea of ‘boundary work’ within and between disciplines, and between science and society and on the professors’ argumentation and reasoning. The results reveal several ambivalences in how the professors see doctoral education and dissertations in social work. Today, social work is seen much as any other (neighbouring) discipline although with some unique features. According to the professors, while the quality of social work dissertations remains good, their value as scientific research has decreased. The societal and practical relevance of social work research present the discipline with a major challenge. The most striking ambivalence concerned the relation between research and practice and thus merits further discussion within the social work discipline. ...
PublisherOxford University Press
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