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Associate Professor Malcolm Carey

Social Work
0151 291 3853 .

I am a qualified social worker who previously worked in local authorities, the voluntary sector, and residential care, exclusively with older and disabled people. I have an academic background in the humanities and social sciences, and a professional past in adult social work. I have undertaken ethnographic, case study and interview-based research - including around the construction and management of professional identities and the impact of social work reforms on older or disabled 'service users'. I have published widely around adult social work, applied ethics, and qualitative research, and authored the popular The Social Work Dissertation and other books. 

My publications and research interests have included the following themes: professional identities; applied ethics; ageing and later life, disability and care; ideology and policy. Relatedly, I have undertaken research into topics including loneliness and ageing; changing social work identities; the marketisation and bio-medicalisation of social work; and rule-bending among social workers. I have recently explored the ethical impact of Universal Credit upon lone mothers and am examining obstacles to food bank access for older people and the potential role of social workers in offering support. 

I enjoy exploring issues which are under-researched or analysing theoretical, political and policy related concerns from a critical perspective.

Recent publications include:
Carey, M. (2023) 'Understanding the reduced educational attainment levels and poor 'life chances' of young people in care' Youth and Policy 
Carey, M. (2022) The neoliberal university, social work and personalised care for older people Ageing and Society 42(8): 1964-1978.Carey, M. and Bell, S. (2022) Universal credit, lone mothers and poverty: Some ethical challenges for social work with children and families Ethics and Social Welfare 16(1): 3-18.Carey, M. (2021) Welfare conditionality, ethics and social care for older adults in the UK: From civic rights to abandonment? British Journal of Social Work published online: 13th December 
Carey M (2021) The potential impact of extensive privatisation in the UK upon the life chances of young people in care Youth and Policy November
Carey, M. (2020) Universal credit, lone mothers and poverty: Context and challenges for social work with children and families Critical and Radical Social Work 8 (2): 189-203.
Tolhurst, E., Carey, M., Weicht, B., and Kingston, P. (2020) Is living well with dementia a credible aspiration for spousal carers? Health Sociology Review 28(1): 54-68. 
Carey, M. (2020) Obstacles to meaningful professional education within the neoliberal university Social Work Education 40 (1): 4-17.