about mark doel

Doel image 01 (1)

I’m a child of Seebohm – I qualified just as those recommendations were being put into practice, so I was ‘generic’, working with the whole community ‘from the cradle to the grave’ in a geographical patch. Apart from spells in Suffolk (where I first found out I wanted to be a social worker), Wigan (head of a day centre) and Philadelphia (a weird, totalitarian regime) all my practice has been in Sheffield, a city I love. Currently I am Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Sheffield Hallam University.

I’ve occupied many spaces – as well as knocking on doors, I’ve supervised students, taught and learned with them in class, been an academic manager (a challenging role made joyous by a wonderful team of people), project manager (again, lots of lovely colleagues) and a researcher. Apart from writing, some of my most fulfilling work is leading training workshops, especially for practice eduactors and groupworkers. I enjoy my international work, particulary in Georgia and eastern Europe and also as Vice President of the International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG).

My latest books are Rights and Wrongs in Social Work: Ethical and Practice Dilemmas (Palgrave) and Social Work in 42 Objects (and more). I’m working on a photo-project called Washing Lines of the World with my colleague Jane Ebel; and I enjoy my role as co-Chair of our local annual festival in the Nether Edge district of Sheffield, going ahead this year in the teeth of Covid-19.



5 thoughts on “about mark doel”

  1. What a fascinating idea and project! I hope to get my contribution in shortly. I cannot resist an early comment. We are all creatures of our time of course; it does strike me immediately, looking at the contributions so far, that [whatever my own views, and my object won’t represent this] the generation before ours would have already offered various mementoes of Freud, Jung, Anna Freud et al.!


  2. Agreed, Jim! Actually, it would be nice to include a few ‘Freudian’ objects if we can reach out to that earlier generation, but many are no longer with us. Mike Shapton’s ‘Crown’ leapt back to the nineteenth century and the origins of the Probation Service. It’d be good to have more Objects from those early days, too. I was wondering about the US newspaper that had its headline, “Is this the Most Dangerous Woman in America?” and a photograph of Jane Addams, the co-founder of the Chicago Settlement. Wow – can you imagine having such a headline about a contemporary social worker … ? Not going to happen.


  3. Hi Mark,
    I really like this idea, in particular the way in which it can identify ‘markers’ for Social Work practice as it is experienced by Social Workers themselves. Its easy to get lost out there! The Aboriginal people use ‘songlines’ to navigate their way through the vast Australian territory (It’s easy to get lost out there too!) These songlines carry significant spiritual and cultural connections to knowledge, customs, ceremony and Lore. They are markers from the past that guide the present and future. Maybe the 40n objects will lead to social work songlines….


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