Fortunately, social workers are not passive victims waiting to be swamped by the successive waves of change identified and elaborated in Part 1. Rather, in different arenas and in quite diverse ways social workers are articulating, developing and promoting modes of practice which represent possible futures. Jones (2000) advances a specific program for the future of social work (which we will examine later), and his intent, as is mine, is to focus on all of the many developments in the profession which are attempting to adapt (either wittingly or unwittingly) to the developments in the contemporary environment. These attempts are, for the most part, a re-tooled version of the professional project attempting to create a better ‘fit’ between what social workers do and the emerging conditions of practice. The drive behind the various strands within this overall category of the entrepreneurial profession is essentially one of hard-nosed pragmatism and all variants hold out the message of ‘adapt or die’ — albeit with differing degrees of emphasis. In this chapter I focus on four main emphases, all of which to a greater or lesser degree are implicated in each other. The first of these is that which promotes the currently popular notions of social entrepreneurialism and social capital. The second version endorses a vigorous and opportunistic embracing of the new conditions of practice, while the third is inventing and engaging in new spaces and new modes of practice. Finally, the fourth version of entrepreneurial social work positions politically-inspired strategic engagement as the key mode of responding to change in the external environment.
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