Social Work Men as a Feminist Issue

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Men who are social workers run counter to their gender norm by pursuing a career in the social work profession and they can experience a complex series of interlocking privileges and challenges. Feminist methodologies are less commonly used in the study of men and masculinities, but can be useful to describe the intersecting issues experienced by men in social work education. This chapter draws on, reviews and updates research conducted in my doctoral study into the experiences and progression of social work students who were men. Drawing on concepts of performativity and hegemonic masculinity, I discuss why the proportion and position of men in social work is a feminist issue and outline a focussed and nuanced examination of men social work students’ experience. This improves understanding about how social work produces gender through its practical means, relative to immediate and local, and wider institutional contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Feminist Theories for Social Work Practice
EditorsChristine Cocker, Trish Hafford-Letchfield
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9783030942410
ISBN (Print)9783030942403
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2022


  • gender
  • masculinity
  • social work education
  • higher education
  • stigma
  • student progression


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