The Study on the Subjective Conceptualization of Social Work Professional to Consumerism in Social Welfare for the Disabled

장애인복지 소비자주의에 대한 사회복지전문직의 주관적 개념화 분석

  • Published : 2006.11.30


As social work practice for the disabled is still centered in provider's perspective in Korea, this study started with concerns for consumerism that is emerging as an alternative for the social work practice for the disabled. Consumerism is rooted in organization process of the disability rights movement, and considered as an ideology that protects actively the rights and influence of consumers. However, consumerism is not operating as an accomplished ideology yet, but as a type of the practical discourse. Consumerism is interpreted in multiaxial meanings and the conscituents of consumerism is used ambiguously in practice. This is because theoretical reviews on the conceptual thinking of consumerism are scant and empirical inquiries into conceptual cognition of social workers who uses this concept as a professional are scarce. After analyzing the data using Q methodology, the result shows that social workers' major cognitive types on consumerism perspective consists of four types; Empowerment type, Market-mechanism type, Multi-opening type and Traditional-value type. These types are classified by the dimension of 'specific/extended', 'traditional/reformative' and 'instrumental/autotelic'. This result will attribute to develop consumer-intimate policy, practice program and professional training program and to give facilities for lucid communication among policy, practice field, theory and movement in social welfare for disabled as it materializes the explicit conception of consumerism that is understood ambiguously in Korea.


social welfare for the disabled;consumerism;conceptualization;Q-methodology