Research Profile

Joseph Whelan

Biography


Dr Joe Whelan joined the School of Applied Social Studies in 2016. Joe is the First Year Coordinator and Deputy Director of the Bachelor of Social Work program (see https://www.ucc.ie/en/ck115/). Joe teaches and contributes across a number of programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. His main area of research interest focuses on exploring the nexus of work and welfare. He is particularly interested in exploring and understanding lived experiences in the context of welfare recipiency, focusing on the processes and effects of welfare conditionality. He is currently in the process of developing two distinct monographs, the first of which explores the concept of social deservingness from antiquity to the present day and second of which offers an insight into lived experiences in the context of the Irish welfare state.

Joe undertook his PhD research in the School of Applied Social Studies in UCC during which he was supervised by Dr Fiona Dukelow and Mr Pat Leahy. This research was designed to gain an insight into and understanding of the lives of working age welfare recipients in Ireland, being specifically interested in the concept of stigma and how and where this may be experienced by welfare recipients in their day to day lives. 

Joe is an active social researcher. Previous research that Joe has carried out or been involved in include, a nationwide study of practising social workers; designed to explore the roles of values and ethics in decision making and an international research project commissioned by Dr Moira Nelson from the University of Lund in Sweden and overseen by Dr Fiona Dukelow, that aimed to comprehensively record the key social policy reforms in Ireland from 1900-present day for comparative purposes. 

Recently, Joe has been involved in forming a new collective of researchers with an interest in work and welfare. The work and welfare study group is composed of a collective of researchers interested in the nexus of work and welfare in Ireland. This is a collaborative project involving staff from the School of Applied Social Studies and the Department of Sociology and Criminology at University College Cork.  The group is currently in the process of conducting survey research to capture peoples' lived experiences of work disruption during the COVID-19 crisis. Surveys and information about this initiative can be found here: workandwelfareresearch.com

Joe has also been involved in the founding of a new network, the Critical Welfare State Studies Network. This network aims to bring together scholars from a broad range of disciplines who are interested or engaged in work relating to the Irish welfare state. The network successfully held it's first annual conference in UCC in September 2019 under the theme 'Critical Perspectives on Stigma, Shame and the Irish Welfare Imaginary'. More information on the conference and on the network in general can be found at: www.cwssnetwork.com.

Joe is also very interested in public scholarship and believes passionately in communicating about the broad social sciences and in particular Social Policy, Sociology and Philosophy, to broad audiences. To meet this objective Joe contributes written work to RTE, the Irish national broadcaster, under the Brainstorm project. Joe has also contributed work to The Conversation UK, to Discover Society and to Contexts; the magazine of the American Sociological Association. Joe also contributes to both regional and national radio programs such as the Pat Kenny show on NewsTalk FM. Joe communicates publicly through Twitter @JoeWhelan82. 

Research Interests

Areas of particular research interest include:

Concepts and Ideologies of welfare;
The welfare state;
Stigma and social welfare;
Poverty and Social exclusion;
Universal Basic Income;
Social research, theory, method and practice;
Social work values theories and skills.

Joe is particularly interested in researching, understanding and fore fronting lived experiences in his work. 

Doctoral Studies (PhD)  

Joe's completed doctoral research at the School of Applied Social Studies in UCC was supervised by Dr Fiona Dukelow and Mr Pat Leahy. The overall aim of the study was to gain an insight into and understanding of the lives of working age welfare recipients in Ireland. Joe is currently in the process of developing a number of publications from this study. 


Current research
  

Joe helped establish and is currently involved in leading a research project with Dr Fiona Dukelow from the School of Applied Social Studies and Dr Tom Boland from the Department of Sociology and Criminology, University College Cork which aims to capture experiences of work disruption due to COVID-19.

Joe has have recently been retained by Galton Housing Association, an alternative housing body in Cork, to complete a piece of research designed to illustrate the benefits of a concierge model of housing for clients with complex needs while also examining further potential diversification opportunities for the association.  

Completed research
 

Joe completed a research project in conjunction with, Dr Fiona Dukelow. This research aimed to comprehensively record the key social policy reforms in Ireland from 1900-present day. This research was commissioned by Dr Moira Nelson from the University of Lund in Sweden for use in a comparative study. It was completed in 2018.   Joe has also conducted research with practising social workers in the Republic of Ireland on the topic of values and ethics in professional practice. This work produced an extensive dataset and has resulted in two publications, one of which is forthcoming in 2020.       

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2021)'Spectres of Goffman: Impression management in the Irish welfare space'
Whelan, Joe (2021) 'Spectres of Goffman: Impression management in the Irish welfare space'. Journal of Applied Social Science, [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]
(2020)'Work and thrive or claim and skive: Experiencing the toxic symbiosis of worklessness and welfare recipiency in Ireland'
Whelan, Joe (2020) 'Work and thrive or claim and skive: Experiencing the toxic symbiosis of worklessness and welfare recipiency in Ireland'. Irish Journal of Sociology, [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]
(2020)'We have our dignity, yeah? Scrutiny under suspicion: Experiences of welfare conditionality in the Irish social protection system'
Whelan, Joe (2020) 'We have our dignity, yeah? Scrutiny under suspicion: Experiences of welfare conditionality in the Irish social protection system'. Social Policy and Administration, [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]
(2020)'Tales of precarity: A reflexive essay on experiencing the COVID pandemic as a social work educator on a precarious contract'
Whelan, Joe (2020) 'Tales of precarity: A reflexive essay on experiencing the COVID pandemic as a social work educator on a precarious contract'. Qualitative Social Work, [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]
(2020)'The roles of values and advocacy approaches in Irish social work practice: Findings from an attitudinal survey of practising social workers'
Whelan, Joe (2020) 'The roles of values and advocacy approaches in Irish social work practice: Findings from an attitudinal survey of practising social workers'. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 17 (2):39-55   [Full Text] [Details]
(2017)'Values and ethics discourses in Irish social work: Which values do practitioners view as realistic and implementable in day to day practice?'
Joe Whelan (2017) 'Values and ethics discourses in Irish social work: Which values do practitioners view as realistic and implementable in day to day practice?'. The Irish Social Worker, Summer 2017 :25-31   [Full Text] [Details]
(2020)'A pro-welfare imaginary?'
Joe Whelan (2020) 'A pro-welfare imaginary?'. Contexts,   [Full Text] [Details]

Articles

 YearPublication
(2020)How our generosity for charities exposes the failure of state.
Whelan, Joe (2020) How our generosity for charities exposes the failure of state. Articles   [Details]
(2020)What Ireland has to say about unemployment during the pandemic.
Joe Whelan; Fiona Dukelow; Tom Boland (2020) What Ireland has to say about unemployment during the pandemic. Dublin: Articles   [Details]
(2020)Coronavirus: in Ireland hundreds of thousands have applied for government support – but is it enough?.
Joe Whelan (2020) Coronavirus: in Ireland hundreds of thousands have applied for government support – but is it enough?. UK and Ireland: Articles   [Details]
(2020)'People usually leave Ireland when a crisis hits our economy'.
Joe Whelan (2020) 'People usually leave Ireland when a crisis hits our economy'. Dublin: Articles   [Details]
(2020)SLOWING THE ROLL: WHY SLOWING ECONOMIC GROWTH IS A GOOD THING FOR THE PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT.
Joe Whelan (2020) SLOWING THE ROLL: WHY SLOWING ECONOMIC GROWTH IS A GOOD THING FOR THE PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT. Articles   [Details]
(2020)4 questions to ask your election candidate about poverty.
Joe Whelan (2020) 4 questions to ask your election candidate about poverty. Ireland: Articles   [Full Text] [Details]
(2019)Does full employment mean good employment?.
Joe Whelan (2019) Does full employment mean good employment?. Ireland: Articles [Details]
(2019)The positive effects of a basic income.
Joe Whelan (2019) The positive effects of a basic income. Dublin: Articles   [Details]
(2019)Where do our ideas about what people deserve to get come from?.
Joe Whelan (2019) Where do our ideas about what people deserve to get come from?. Ireland: Articles   [Details]
(2019)How Ireland has failed 760,000 people living in poverty.
Joe Whelan (2019) How Ireland has failed 760,000 people living in poverty. Ireland: Articles   [Details]
(2019)How Ireland's spending on welfare compares to the rest of Europe.
Joe Whelan (2019) How Ireland's spending on welfare compares to the rest of Europe. Ireland: Articles   [Details]
(2019)The Welfare State We're in: Is it time to reclaim welfare and the welfare state?.
Joe Whelan (2019) The Welfare State We're in: Is it time to reclaim welfare and the welfare state?. Ireland: Articles   [Details]
(2019)All you need to know about basic income.
Joe Whelan (2019) All you need to know about basic income. Ireland: Articles   [Details]
(2019)How does Critical Realism relate to Critical Theory?.
Joe Whelan (2019) How does Critical Realism relate to Critical Theory?. Articles   [Details]

Conference Publications

 YearPublication
(2018)School of Applied Social Studies Postgraduate Symposium 2018
Joe Whelan (2018) Solidarity or Stigma? An exploration of the lived experiences of working age welfare recipients in Ireland: A brief discussion of preliminary findings School of Applied Social Studies Postgraduate Symposium 2018 Cork, , 04-MAY-18 - 04-MAY-18 [Details]
(2018)Irish Social Policy Association Biennial Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Conference 2018
Joe Whelan (2018) Solidarity or Stigma?: Experiences of Exclusion: An exploration of the lived experiences of working age welfare recipients in Ireland: A brief discussion of some preliminary findings Irish Social Policy Association Biennial Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Conference 2018 Dublin, , 27-JUL-18 - 27-JUL-18   [Details]
(2018)British Sociological Association Work, Employment and Society Conference 2018
Joe Whelan (2018) Solidarity or Stigma?An exploration of the lived experiences of working age welfare recipients in Ireland: Examining the potential for stigma and the effects of living with a 'welfare identity' British Sociological Association Work, Employment and Society Conference 2018 Belfast, , 12-SEP-18 - 14-SEP-18   [Details]

Blog

 YearPublication
(2020)'Tossed to the wind'? The Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the reshaping of the Welfare State.
Fiona Dukelow; Joe Whelan; Tom Boland (2020) 'Tossed to the wind'? The Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the reshaping of the Welfare State. Dublin: Blog   [Details]

Book Reviews

 YearPublication
(2018)Troublemakers: The Construction of ‘Troubled Families’ as a Social Problem [Book Review].
Joe Whelan (2018) Troublemakers: The Construction of ‘Troubled Families’ as a Social Problem [Book Review]. Oxford: Book Reviews   [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]
(2018)Delivering Social Welfare: Governance and Service Provision in the UK By Derek Birrell and Ann Marie Gray Bristol, Policy Press [Book Review].
Joe Whelan (2018) Delivering Social Welfare: Governance and Service Provision in the UK By Derek Birrell and Ann Marie Gray Bristol, Policy Press [Book Review]. United Kingdom: Book Reviews [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]
(2017)Chronic illness, vulnerability and social work: autoimmunity and the contemporary disease experience: Book Review.
Joe Whelan (2017) Chronic illness, vulnerability and social work: autoimmunity and the contemporary disease experience: Book Review. United Kingdom: Book Reviews   [DOI] [Full Text] [Details]

Newspaper Articles

 YearPublication
(2020)The PUP makes people feel cared-for and secure - and you can't put a price on that.
Tom Boland; Fiona Dukelow; Joe Whelan (2020) The PUP makes people feel cared-for and secure - and you can't put a price on that. Dublin: Newspaper Articles   [Details]

Podcast - Media

 YearPublication
(2021)58. SJI Interview Series Ep29: Dr. Joe Whelan on Welfare Stigma, COVID response and the need for a paradigm shift.
Joe Whelan; Colette Bennett. (2021) 58. SJI Interview Series Ep29: Dr. Joe Whelan on Welfare Stigma, COVID response and the need for a paradigm shift. Ireland: Podcast - Media   [Details]
(2020)Dr Joe Whelan (Stigma, Welfare and the Irish Welfare State).
Rosarii Griffin; Joe Whelan (2020) Dr Joe Whelan (Stigma, Welfare and the Irish Welfare State). Co. Cork: Podcast - Media   [Details]
(2020)Welfare conditionality and stigma with Joe Whelan, UCC. Social Justice Matters.
Colette Bennett; Joe Whelan (2020) Welfare conditionality and stigma with Joe Whelan, UCC. Social Justice Matters. Ireland: Podcast - Media   [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2016College Scholar College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
2015Quercus College Scholar in Social Work College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
2014Quercus College Scholar in Social Work College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Irish Association of Social Workers Professional Association/
Sociological Association of Ireland Member/
Irish Social Policy Association Professional Association/

Conference Contributions

 YearPublication
(2019)Cork Talks,
Joe Whelan (2019) A Cork Discovers event. [Invited Oral Presentation], Cork Talks, University College Cork . [Details]

Committees

 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
Critical Welfare State Studies Network Organising Committee Founder; Organiser/
PhD Student Forum, College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.(CACSSS) Student Rep for the School of Applied Social Studies/
Social Policy Educators Enhancing Digital Skills (SPEEDS) Executive Commitee Member/

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
University College Cork Lecturer/

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2016University College Cork Bachelor of Social WorkSocial work and the social sciences
2019School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork PhDStigma, social welfare and lived experiences
2020University College Cork Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher EducationTeaching in Higher Education

Outreach Activities

 Description

Joe was recently involved in a consultation on decent work which was conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute on behalf of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Joe has completed both the 'SafeTalk' and the 'Asist' suicide intervention skills training programs.

Joe recently gave a public talk on Universal Basic Income as part of the the Cork Discovers, Cork Talks 2019 event. This can be seen here: Time stamp from 16:12 to 27:50 mins approx: https://youtu.be/3uOnjGzGLHE.

Joe has previously volunteered as an information provider and advocate for the Citizens Information Service where he undertook information provision and small scale advocacy work.

Joe currently holds certificates in Children First, child protection and safeguarding training; Nvivo: Intermediate Level in Computer Aided Qualitative Data Analysis; GDPR Compliance in the Republic of Ireland Workplace Fundamentals; Restorative practices certificate

Joe currently holds a digital badge in postgraduate research supervision. Joe has also earned a Bronze Digital badge as part of the speeds project.

Joe engages in public scholarship through activities such as contributing to RTE Brainstorm, an online platform where suitably qualified academics engage in journalism for a general audience and by contributing to regional and national radio.

Journal Activities

 JournalRoleTo / From
Social Sciences Member of Editorial Board-

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

Joe currently teaches across the broad social sciences drawing on sociology, social policy and social work and contributes to or has contributed to a wide variety of programmes at both undergraduate and post-graduate level including:

Core teaching:
  • SS1202: Introduction to Social Work Theory, Methods and Skills
  • SS2211: Mixed Economy of Welfare and Personal Social Services
  • SS4212: Contemporary Issues in Social Work
  • SS4211: Anti-racism and Anti-discriminatory 
  • SS4214: Action Research Study
  • SS1017: Politics and Social Policy (Part 1)
  • SS1018: Politics and Social Policy (Part 2)
  • SS4208: Placement II
  • SS3206: Placement I
  • SS3207: Placement Portfolio
  • SS4209: Placement Portfolio
Other
  • SS2024: Fieldwork Placement
  • SS3030: Fieldwork Placement
  • SS3031: Social Research Report
  • SS6313: Contemporary Social Policy Issues
  • SS3008: Poverty and Social Exclusion
  • SS1015 & SS1016 Social Policy and Society I & II 
  • SS3301: Social Research Report
  • SS2003: Social services: Welfare Policy and Practice

Areas of particular teaching interest include:

Historical Social Policy;
Concepts and ideologies of welfare;
The welfare state;
Stigma and social welfare;
Poverty and Social exclusion;
Universal Basic Income;
Social research, theory, method and practice;
Social work values, theories and skills. 

Joe holds an accredited teaching qualification having completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 

Research Information

Internal Collaborators

 NameInstituteCountry
Pat Leahy University College CorkIRELAND
Tom Boland Department of Sociology and Criminology, UCCIRELAND
Dr Fiona Dukelow University College CorkIRELAND
Dr Fiona Dukelow University College CorkIRELAND

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