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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Social work academics’ subject positions: convergence and divergence

Simpson, Diane (2015) Social work academics’ subject positions: convergence and divergence. In: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), 9-11 Dec 2015, Newport, UK.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Using Foucault’s (1989) concept of subject positions, this doctoral research, explores and discusses identities and positions of social work academics. Thirteen subject positions (Foucault, 1989) provided insight into the daily experiences of social work academics but also had specific functions in managing identities of ‘practitioner’ and ‘academic’. The subject positions were critical in facilitating the transition from practitioner to academic, but also highlighted tensions and challenges (i.e. divergence) between social work and academic practices and identities, as well as issues of synchronicity (i.e. convergence). The subject positions facilitated the management of identities, enhanced areas of compatibility, addressed and resolved issues of paradox, tension and antithetical identities. Thus, subject positions reflected social work academics’ experiences of being, negotiating/becoming social work academics. Subject positions were conceptualised as being, negotiating or a combination of being and negotiating, set within a meta-position of a Dominant and Default Social Work identity.

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More Information

Additional Information: Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Annual Conference 2015 ; Conference date: 09-12-2015 Through 11-12-2015
Depositing User: Leah Maughan


Item ID: 12589
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Diane Simpson: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2020 11:56
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2020 11:56


Author: Diane Simpson ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences

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