Considine, Thomas Philip (2019) How do Social Work Students Perceive The Meaning of Resilience In Their Practice? Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

In the face of chronic crises affecting our environmental, economic and social worlds resilience has emerged as the solution to these problems. Arguably, resilience is a laudable quality as it seeks to enhance the opportunity to thrive in the face of such adversity. In the field of social work resilience is normally associated with supporting vulnerable service users to face future adversity. More recently there has been an interest in promoting resilience in social work practitioners as they face more demanding workloads with fewer resources. The promotion of resilience is currently dominated by positive psychologists advocating personal responses to social problems. This approach has attracted criticism as it is in the service of maintaining a neoliberal model of society. Developing this critique further this is the first study to look at how resilience is understood in practice from a Radical Social Work perspective which seeks to locate its meaning in the material context of social work practice. This thesis presents a qualitative study which investigated how student social workers perceived resilience in their practice. Sixteen student social workers and six Practice Educators were interviewed using a semi- structured interview. Practice Educators were interviewed as they could provide a wider perspective on the student social worker’s experience of resilience in practice.

The aim is to analyse the capacity for resilience to be deployed as mean of exercising domination over social work students in order to exploit and control them. More specifically this study draws on the ideas of Charles Wright Mills and his defining principles to relate the ’private’ concerns of being resilient to the ‘public’ context which creates this experience. In other words, students are encouraged to see struggling not as a personal deficiency but as arising from intolerable circumstances. In seeking to expose the limits of dominant discourses of resilience an alternative conception of resilience is promoted which advocates a collective response to the challenges facing social workers

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