Paraprofessional development in the UK: ambivalences and contradictions

Kubiak, Christopher (2010). Paraprofessional development in the UK: ambivalences and contradictions. In: Seddon, Terri; Henriksson, Lea and Niemeyer, Beatrix eds. Learning and Work and the Politics of Working Life: Global Transformations and Collective Identities in Teaching, Nursing and Social Work. London: Routledge, pp. 125–141.



This chapter explores the practice, learning and identity of paraprofessionals in health and social care. In particular, it considers how the workplace structures the worker's enactment of their vocation for practice both opening up affordances for development but also rendering invisible experience, development and aspirations. This invisibilisation confronts workers' occupational identities, sense of self as a skilled worker and accumulation of experience. While the social agency of the workplace exerts a powerful effect, such forces are not passively accepted by the workers' themselves but challenged. The way in which workers exercise agency in order to negotiate the tension between visibility and invisibility is considered.

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