Rethinking Professional Identity in a Globalized World

Orit Nuttman-Shwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Recent literature has shed light on changes in the development of personal identity as a result of globalization, but the development of professional identity in the era of globalization has not yet been examined. To fill this gap, we analyzed this issue in light of the traditional construction of the social work profession, the paradigm of cultural competence and cultural relativism, and International Social Work programs. The analysis revealed that professional efforts to cope with globalization might have the opposite effect by reinforcing individualism, nationalism, and oppression, as well as by reinforcing hierarchical power relations among different cultural groups and residents of Northern and Southern countries. In light of this situation, it is important to recognize the need for a complex professional identity that interweaves indigenous, local, global, and universalistic thinking with perceptions based on the new declarations of the social work profession. As such, further research and continuing professional discussions and elaboration are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural competence
  • Cultural relativism
  • Globalization
  • International social work
  • Professional identity
  • Social work education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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