In this paper we explore the personnel transformations which have occurred in social welfare work. Specifically, we examine the tensions between the dynamics of professionalization and deprofessionalization and how these trends have impacted upon those who work in the social welfare enterprise. Another concern of the paper is the effect of the proletarianization of social welfare work in the face of increasing efforts of some to create professional standards and to solidify the position of professionals in agencies. These struggles are examined in terms of their ability to affect the likelihood of both worker unionization and worker-client political coalitions.

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