Community Work Today: Competing Demands In Practice

  • Mae Shaw


Community work is not a straightforward enterprise, as practitioners well know.  For example, it embodies a number of key tensions which create competing and sometimes conflicting demands.  This is hardly surprising given the disparate provenance, contested history and diverse contexts of contemporary community work.  In fact, it could be argued that what constitutes community work at any time is inevitably the rather messy outcome of contestation between all those interests which seek to frame, deploy or regulate it.  It follows, therefore, that the process of contestation, and the dilemmas of choice it generates, produce competing rationalities, although these may not always be explicit. This article explores competing ways of thinking about and justifying professional community work – as distinct from paid or unpaid activism – because they  raise important political and educational questions
How to Cite
Shaw, M. (2013) “Community Work Today: Competing Demands In Practice”, Concept, 4(2), p. 10. Available at: (Accessed: 25November2020).