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Self-reflective Ethnographies of Practice and their Relevance for Professional Socialisation in Social Work

[journal article]

Riemann, Gerhard

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Abstract "The article tries to explicate and illustrate a type of qualitative practitioner research in the field of professional training and to shed light on its practical uses for the acquisition of analytical skills and the fostering of professional discourse. The discussion is based on the author’s work with social work students who are encouraged and supported to become “ethnographers of their own affairs”, especially in the context of their practice placements, which are a mandatory part of their social work course. By presenting and discussing students’ ethnographic field notes and a sequence of a student’s oral narrative (along with their retrospective reflections) he attempts to convey how such a style of researching one’s own practice can contribute to student apprentices’ personal acquisition of skills for the analysis of individual and collective cases. This type of work could also become significant for collective concerns of the profession, e.g. with regard to generating a research based, self-critical and case specific professional discourse on possible problematic tendencies of professional work and the discovery of alternatives of action, but also with regard to the emergence of a self-confident and innovative type of research which is carried out by professional practitioners themselves." (author's abstract)
Keywords ethnography; social work; professionalization; occupational practice; case study; interaction; occupational socialization; research; qualitative method; theory-practice
Classification Training, Teaching and Studying, Professional Organizations of Social Welfare; Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Social Welfare
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 262-293
Journal International Journal of Action Research, 7 (2011) 3
ISSN 1861-1303
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications