Social Work of the Future: Motives and Expectations among Social Work Students in Sweden

Pernilla S. Liedgren, Gudrun V. Elvhage


Is it possible to see future social work in today’s social work students? It is likely that the way these students think about social work will form the future practice. In this study we investigate social work students’ motives and expectations of their future profession. A survey was conducted among first semester students at four different universities in Sweden (n=243). The survey asked questions about the students’ motives, what they thought the main aim of social work is, and how they would like to be seen as social workers. The results show among other things that social work students consider the main aim of social work is to improve people’s lives, advocate on people’s behalf, and protect vulnerable people. The most frequently stated motives for becoming involved in social work were to help vulnerable people, and an interest in social issues, and the least important were religious or political reasons. The study has not being able to identify any future changes in social work. This could be interpreted as showing that social work has basic values that are constant over time and cultures.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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