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Book part
Publication date: 17 May 2018

Keren Dali

Purpose – In this chapter, I present a systematic discussion of the relationship between social work (SW) and library and information science (LIS) and explore how SW can…

Abstract

Purpose – In this chapter, I present a systematic discussion of the relationship between social work (SW) and library and information science (LIS) and explore how SW can contribute to the education of LIS practitioners so that they become more than information facilitators and grow professionally to be true agents of change.

Design/Methodology/Approach – Using engagement with immigrant communities as a case in point and building on the empirical comparative study of public librarians in the Greater Toronto Area and New York City, I outline the current gaps and deficiencies of LIS curricula that can be rectified through blended education. I also integrate the potential contributions of SW into LIS through the case study of an immigrant member of a library community.

Findings – Building on the case study, I introduce a four-tiered model that can be applied to a wide array of courses in LIS programs and conclude with suggestions for taking steps toward blending SW perspectives into the LIS curriculum.

Originality/Value – I position the potential fusion of SW and LIS as “professional blendedness,” which serves as a catalyst for change, and also examine the concept of the blended professional as a change agent. I introduce the rationale for adopting theoretical, practical, and pedagogical approaches from SW in the field of LIS and focus on four specific contributions that can most benefit LIS:

  • the person-in-environment approach;

  • the strengths perspective and empowerment;

  • the interrelated notions of cultural competence, diversity, and intersectionality; and

  • the theory-mindedness approach (including theory and practice models).

the person-in-environment approach;

the strengths perspective and empowerment;

the interrelated notions of cultural competence, diversity, and intersectionality; and

the theory-mindedness approach (including theory and practice models).

Details

Re-envisioning the MLS: Perspectives on the Future of Library and Information Science Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-884-8

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2020

Solomon Amadasun and Tracy Beauty Evbayiro Omorogiuwa

As the next generation of social workers in a continent bedecked by oppressive customs, it is cardinal that the voices of social work students be heard. This study aims to…

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Abstract

Purpose

As the next generation of social workers in a continent bedecked by oppressive customs, it is cardinal that the voices of social work students be heard. This study aims to share the reflections of Nigerian BSW students about anti-oppressive approach to professional practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on a qualitative approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted among fourth-year social work students at one of the elite universities in the southern region of Nigeria.

Findings

Results reveal that, although willing to challenge oppressive practices, social work students are ill-equipped to apply anti-oppressive approach to social work practice in Nigeria.

Research limitations/implications

This study makes an important contribution to the field and to the existing literature because the findings have broader implications for social work education in Nigeria.

Practical implications

In enforcing the suggestions of this study, it is expected that social work education will become able to produce competently trained students who are only knowledgeable about anti-oppressive social work but are equally prepared to address Nigeria’s myriad oppressive practices that have long undermined the nation’s quest for social development.

Social implications

The application of the anti-oppressive approach to social work practice is integral to ridding society of all forms of overt social injustice and other forms of latent oppressive policies.

Originality/value

Suggestions are offered to Nigerian social work educators toward ensuring that students are not only well equipped in the understanding of anti-oppressive social work but also ready to apply this model to professional social work practice following their graduation.

Details

Journal of Humanities and Applied Social Sciences, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2632-279X

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Louise Christensen

The purpose of this paper is to explore how a study of a practice can lay the foundation to describe this very practice whilst transformations of it were taken place…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how a study of a practice can lay the foundation to describe this very practice whilst transformations of it were taken place. Descriptions of changes to the practice of social work which was observed empirically serve as a starting point for experimenting with how social scientists, though often exploring transformative study objects, can remain focused on describing the object, under study.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was done through circa one year of fieldwork conducted with participant observation in two Danish municipal units offering services to socially marginalized people and interviews with social workers and employees in drug/alcohol treatment and psychiatric units.

Findings

The object of study within social sciences, though changing, is able to be described. Through the theories of “Social Navigation” (Vigh) and “Strategy and Tactics” (de Certeau), the practice of social work can be described as one concrete bounded practice but one which is performed within a transformative/changeable environment that are capable of influencing it. In this case, the experience of a changeable seascape might serve as a metaphor for how study objects change within an environment of change; how they can be viewed as “motion within motion” (Vigh).

Originality/value

Even though fields such as anthropology and organizational studies seem to rid themselves from their objects of study (culture and organization, respectively) and dissociate themselves from descriptions thereof these objects might still be of value to us. Even though the objects of study in postmodern anthropology and organizational studies are defined as unbounded, anti-essential, ephemeral, ever-changing non-objects, this might not be the entire picture. Despite their ever-changing shape, we might still be able to study and describe them if we take their changeable form and environment into account.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Tricia Jane Bingham, Josie Wirjapranata and Shirley-Ann Chinnery

This paper outlines a teaching and learning collaboration between information literacy (IL) professionals and a social work academic at The University of Auckland. The…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper outlines a teaching and learning collaboration between information literacy (IL) professionals and a social work academic at The University of Auckland. The collaboration was developed for the purpose of introducing evidence-based practice (EBP) and related IL skills to a third-year social work cohort preparing for their first practicum. Embedding the research–practice connection in the minds of students at this level of study is essential, as using evidence in practice is considered to be a fundamental professional objective. Despite this perspective, it is not uncommon for research to be viewed as an ancillary, if not discretionary skill in social work, with the research–practice gap well recognised in the social work literature. EBP offers students a clearly defined, systematic research framework imminently suited to the novice learner which emphasises the importance of research for practice. Research skills, in particular IL and the ability to find, evaluate and apply information, are essential to the development of effective EBP. Apart from the practical skills of being able to find evidence, critical thinking and reflective skills are key skills also inherent to IL processes and practice, and mastery of the evidence-based approach is impossible without mastery of these key IL competencies. Taking a solution-focused frame, theoretically underpinned by a constructivist teaching philosophy, we detail specific EBP and IL teaching practices, challenges and the remedies applied. The paper concludes with key lessons learned and future directions for teaching EBP and IL skills to social work students at The University of Auckland.

Design/methodology/approach

A solution-focused frame is theoretically underpinned by a constructivist teaching philosophy.

Findings

This paper offers insights derived from seven years of teaching EBP and IL skills to social work students and investigates specific teaching challenges and details the remedies applied.

Research limitations/implications

As a case study, this article deals with one instance of EBP and IL teaching. Focusing specifically on EBP in the social sciences, this may not be relevant for other disciplines.

Practical implications

This paper offers insights into methods for merging EBP and IL skills teaching in the social sciences, providing practical examples of activities which can be used in teaching, underpinned by relevant theory.

Social implications

To be effective practitioners, social workers must understand the importance of research to practice, in particular how this can improve their professional knowledge and practice. Forging the research–practice connection aids the development of competent practitioners and enhances the well-being of social work clients.

Originality/value

The authors outline constructivist–connectivist learning activities that can be used to advance students’ IL skills, develop research capacity and enhance the importance of the research-practice connection in social work practice. While much research has been done on EBP and IL connections in the medical and nursing literature, there is limited literature discussing EBP and IL integration in social work.

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2002

Pawan Budhwar, Andy Crane, Annette Davies, Rick Delbridge, Tim Edwards, Mahmoud Ezzamel, Lloyd Harris, Emmanuel Ogbonna and Robyn Thomas

Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their…

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Abstract

Wonders whether companies actually have employees best interests at heart across physical, mental and spiritual spheres. Posits that most organizations ignore their workforce – not even, in many cases, describing workers as assets! Describes many studies to back up this claim in theis work based on the 2002 Employment Research Unit Annual Conference, in Cardiff, Wales.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 25 no. 8/9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Book part
Publication date: 23 October 2008

James A. Forte

SI offers a distinctive theoretical language for practice: a vocabulary and a grammar for identifying the personal troubles and joys of group members and for locating…

Abstract

SI offers a distinctive theoretical language for practice: a vocabulary and a grammar for identifying the personal troubles and joys of group members and for locating these experiences in shared symbol systems and in associated social arrangements (Weigert, 1995). SI can provide the ideal base for social work and sociological helping work (Forte, 2004a, 2004b). It is a coherent organizing language that can guide practitioner thinking, acting, and feeling especially when professional action is blocked.

Details

Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-127-5

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2009

Ian Shaw and Jasmine Clayden

Through the results from part of a formative evaluation in England and Wales of the Integrated Children's System, the authors aim to illustrate the diverse ways in which…

Abstract

Through the results from part of a formative evaluation in England and Wales of the Integrated Children's System, the authors aim to illustrate the diverse ways in which policy, technology and practice interests challenge conventional assumptions regarding the construction and use of evidence in children's services. We identify four connected consequences of the ICS for practice. The ICS actively shapes practice, brings issues into focus, renders social work visible and distances the services user. We interpret the findings in terms of the persistence and diversification of professional discretion and the interplay of standardisation and case‐based practice. We challenge some accepted academic understandings of the relationship between technology and professional practice.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Melissa Laing

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it proposes a critical posthumanist orientation to social work as an approach to address the impediments to care experienced…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it proposes a critical posthumanist orientation to social work as an approach to address the impediments to care experienced by interspecies families. Secondly, it challenges the anthropocentric assumptions that underpin this exclusion of nonhuman family members in human services disciplines such as social work.

Design/methodology/approach

This article presents primary data from a qualitative study into social work and other human services practice in the family violence and homelessness sectors in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Findings

Social workers undertook companion animal-inclusive practice to counter vulnerability to interspecies families caused by gender- and species-based violence, and by homelessness. Gender- and species-based violence was exacerbated by a lack of refuge options, and contributed to women considering their companion animals to be their children. The vulnerability that homelessness brought upon interspecies families was amplified by stigma within and external to social work and related professions, and the impediment that experiences of homelessness had on being able to provide care for their nonhuman family members. These factors shaped practice with interspecies families. Scope for future practice was also identified.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings can be used to inform policy change that includes consideration of nonhuman family members, as well as critical posthuman program design in social work education.

Originality/value

Companion animal-inclusive practice with interspecies families in social work is an under researched area, and there is little empirical data available on the nature of this work in Australia. This paper addresses this gap by centring social workers' own accounts of practice. This paper has scope to contribute to education in social work and other welfare fields, with the potential to empower students to challenge assumptions about social work being solely focused on human-centred concerns.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 41 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2007

Marion Ellison

This paper sets out to explore the relationship between gender, New Public Management (NPM), citizenship and professional and user group identities and relationships…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to explore the relationship between gender, New Public Management (NPM), citizenship and professional and user group identities and relationships within child care social work practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilises findings from a major comparative survey undertaken in Denmark and the UK as part of Doctoral research. In addition the paper draws upon more recent empirical research carried out by the author in Sweden.

Findings

Paradigms imported from the private sector have led to the adoption of NPM, fiscal austerity and the reorganisation of childcare social work throughout Europe. This paper illustrates the connectivities between NPM, gender, citizenship and the contested terrains within which professional and user group relationships and identities are being forged. The paper offers a unique insight into the operationalisation of NPM and gender within childcare professional social work practice in different European settings.

Research limitations/implications

The paper's findings may be used to contribute to existing theoretical and empirical knowledge within the field of professional childcare social work and practice.

Originality/value

The paper offers a unique insight into the operationalisation of gender equality as a normative ideal premised on the development of organisational and legal settings which embrace an awareness of the duality of public and private spheres and the impact of different European welfare settings on the articulations of notions of gender and citizenship, which in turn operationalise processes of inclusion and exclusion of women as citizens, workers and parents.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Rachael Dobson

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a methodology for critical welfare practice research, “recollection-as-method”, and to use this to demonstrate the social

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a methodology for critical welfare practice research, “recollection-as-method”, and to use this to demonstrate the social relations of social welfare institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses a series of personal recollections from the author’s experiences of academic life and welfare work to establish a methodology for critical welfare practice research. This uses concepts memory, dirty work, shame and complicity, and is grounded in critical feminist and critical race work, and psychosocial and socio-cultural approaches to governance.

Findings

The paper establishes a methodology for critical welfare practice research by demonstrating the significance of using an ontologically driven approach to governance, to achieve a realistic and complex understanding of statutory welfare work.

Research limitations/implications

Recollections are post hoc narrations, written in the present day. The ethics and robustness of this approach are deliberated in the paper.

Practical implications

The focus of the paper is on statutory welfare practice that involves the assessment and regulation of homeless people. Principles and arguments developed in this paper contribute to reflective and reflexive debates across “front-line” social welfare practice fields in and beyond homelessness. Examples include assessment of social groups such as unemployed people, refugees and asylum seekers. Arguments also have application for criminal justice settings such as for prison work.

Social implications

This foregrounds practitioner ambivalence and resistance in order to theorise the social relations of social welfare institutions.

Originality/value

The recollection-as-method approach provides a methodology for critical practice research by demonstrating an alternative way to understand the realities of welfare work. It argues that understanding how resistance and complicity operate in less conscious and more structural ways is important for understanding the social relations of social welfare institutions and the role of good/bad feeling for these processes. This is important for understanding interventions required for anti-oppressive social change across the social worlds of policy-practice life.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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