Repository logo

Hitting the ground running: neo-conservatism and first year Canadian social workers

Faculty Advisor




first-year social workers, neo-conservative, figurative language, social work discourse, military metaphors

Abstract (summary)

This paper explores how the popular use of the expression “hitting the ground running” in reference to beginning social work practice draws upon military imagery and reflects neoconservative expectations of first-year social workers. Discussion of the international and Canadian definitions of social work, key social work values, the neo-conservative paradigm, and the role of language in understanding human experiences provides context to this analysis. Ultimately, it is argued that it is in the best interests of the social work profession for the phrase hitting the ground running to be abandoned (or used critically) when making reference to first-year social workers, and a new metaphor is suggested that could take its place in the social work lexicon.

Publication Information

Newberry-Koroluk, A.M. (2014). Hitting the ground running: Neo-conservatism and first year Canadian social workers. Critical Social Work, 15(1), 42-54. Retrieved from



Item Type

Article Post-Print




All Rights Reserved