Aug 05

Definition of a Social Worker (Urban Dictionary)

All of this week’s posts are dedicated to finding out how people using the Urban Dictionary view some of the main categories on this blog: concepts such as therapy, psychiatry, psychology, mental health, etc. First up, my discipline: what is the definition of a social worker?

Before going to grad school and becoming a clinical social worker/therapist, I’d been the following web definition of a “social worker”: someone employed to provide social services (especially to the disadvantaged).

In the Urban Dictionary I find 10 different definitions for “social worker.” The first is a doozy and has several components:

1. A person who cannot handle the reality of his or her own life, and compensates by overindulging in the realities of the lives of strangers.

2. A severely damaged person who cannot be helped, who helps other severely damaged people who cannot be helped, unless they become friends.

3. A person who becomes hostile or violent toward the threat of intimacy.

4. An alcoholic abuser.


Somewhere along the line, I fear, someone out there has felt intruded upon by an incompetent and/or disturbed social worker who lacked appropriate boundaries and ethics. Unfortunately, this can happen—though of course it shouldn’t.

The fourth on the list appears to hail from overseas:

making lots of money out of people’s misery. part of the burgeoning ‘new professions class’ of the late 20thC and usually a socialist, liberal or worse. social workers took over where the church left off. may know the difference between right and wrong but doesn’t see why it should apply to them. a secular priest, monk or nun who enforces politically acceptable thought and behaviour on the hapless, helpless and hopeless. talks complete psychobabble with no scientific foundation whatsoever. often pilloried for taking children into care or leaving them to die; whichever the press find most distressing at the time. almost always an insecure individual who should be having therapy not giving it.
MALE of type tries to compensate for the low social status by talking complete bollocks at the pub.
FEMALE, usually a cat owner, likely to be crazy as a coot and in medieval times would have been burned as a witch.
SW MANAGER has generally failed even at this low level and so exacerbates the public’s woes with incompetence in leadership.
most SWs try to avoid mentioning it at parties or face the prospect of further rejection. secretly support the British National Party.

As a FEMALE, I’m pleased to report that I’ve been able to keep my own cat owning and craziness in check. On the other hand, it’s true: I may in fact be worse than a liberal.

Number seven’s author sets his or her sights on the poor slob who studied the wrong field and therefore had to go the unfortunate default social work route: A liberal and/or anthropology major who is unable to get a real job to make a living.

And nine clearly has scorn not only for social work but also for how we get our jobs: An unemployable, ineffectual, mentally ill liberal hired by the government for no particular reason.

Is it any wonder I’m feeling a need right now to point out that there are in fact many hard-working, well-adjusted social workers who do great things for their communities and the world. Please click this link: 10 social workers helping those in need [Infographic] | MNN – Mother Nature Network for a taste.

Stay tuned for definitions for the terms therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, and shrink.