Social work academics’ subject positions: convergence and divergence

Diane Simpson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2015
EventSociety for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Annual Conference 2015 - Celctic Manor Hotel, Newport
Duration: 9 Dec 201511 Dec 2015


ConferenceSociety for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Annual Conference 2015
Internet address


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