‘Inheritors’, ‘Dynamos’ and ‘Pathfinders’: male social work students’ motivations, barriers and experiences impacting career choice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Summary: This research paper contributes to the literature concerning the gender imbalance within social work and the paucity of male social work practitioners. It reports on a qualitative research study which garnered the perceptions and experiences of thirty-four current and recent male graduates. Participants were drawn from six universities across the United Kingdom (UK). Qualitative data were collated using semi-structured interviews, surveys, field observations and BEM sex role inventory tests (Holt& Ellis, 1998).

Findings: A thematic analysis of the data identified the backgrounds and dispositions of males more likely to enter the profession, locating where they can potentially be drawn from. In addition, participants highlight and address a lack of professional status within social work.

Applications: This research is, therefore, of interest to policy makers in terms of recruitment strategy, and for secondary and higher education to further promote the profession as one suitable for any gender.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Publication statusIn preparation - 24 Oct 2023

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