about 40 objects


Social Work in 42 Objects (and more), the book from this project, was launched earlier this year!

The book is endorsed by Coram who hosted a launch for the book at the Foundling Museum in London in March 2017. The launch was very well attended and the event was introduced by Coram’s Carol Homden. 22 people brought objects to the launch for display. Mark Doel introduced the book and the philosophy behind it, using illustrative examples from Objects in the book. Guest speakers were Harriet Ward (who proposed Foundling Hospital Token as her object), John Simmonds and Isabelle Trowler.

On World Social Work Day Trinity College Dublin hosted an Irish launch for the book in the Trinity Long Room Hub. Another well-attended event was enjoyed by students, practitioners and other guests. After Mark’s introduction, 7 contributors to the book told the story of their Objects: Lego aeroplane, Compass of shame, Mouthpiece to a french horn, Crib, Rambler car badge, Box of condoms and Kennedy Report. Students from three different year groups at Trinity College also introduced objects and told their stories: Watering can, Compass and a Newspaper. Guest speakers were Frank Browne and Michele Clark who entered into the spirit by proposing their own Objects and the stories behind them.

The book is available (£10 + postage) from Kirwin Maclean Associates at: enquiries@kirwinmaclean.com or please use the links to the right.

The 127 objects in this book are a gift to social work from all those who have proposed them. This book is also a gift: when you buy it, be aware that profits and royalties (£2.50 per book) go to NGO TARA Homes for Children, Delhi, to rescue, support and educate street children.


Publicity information for the book

Can the story of social work be told through Objects? Might a collection of objects be more illuminating than a formal text book or a dry definition?

In this engaging, photographic book, Mark Doel curates a collection of 127 objects contributed by people from around the globe to evoke a sense of social work – past, present and future.

Written as a Guide to an Exhibition of Social Work, this is the ideal book to introduce social work to newcomers, and to entertain those with long experience of the profession. The objects are presented by a diverse group of people with different perspectives on social work, but with a common imagination.

Feedback and comments on the book are very welcome (doel@waitrose.com). Please let your friends and colleagues know about it.

More Objects

I continue to upload Objects and stories to the blog. To propose an Object:

  • Send a photo of the Object and a photo of yourself, and around 100 words about yourself – how/why you got into social work; how you have experienced it.
  • Write briefly why you chose this Object and what it means to you. I chose X because … 
  • Email these items to me at doel@waitrose.com – I’ll upload your nominations for comments and discussion. If you have difficulty getting a digital image of your Object, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I’m happy to talk over your ideas, too.

Please continue to spread the word and ask others to get involved, either naming an object or commenting on them, or both. Nominations from groups are also welcome.