The Role of Social Work Research – Theories, Discourses and Structures in New Perspectives

Aalborg University, Denmark August 16th to 20th 2010

The second summer school of Nordic-Baltic Doctoral Network in Social Work will focus on new methodological approaches within the qualitative research tradition in social work research. The course provides 7.5 ECTS credits and has been developed especially for this summer-school (see the attachment at the bottom of the page).

The course will give the PhD students an advanced theoretical and practical knowledge of new perspectives in social work research. Presentations and discussions will focus more specifically on new developments and methodological approaches in: Discourse and narrative analysis, Institutional ethnography, Life story analysis and Practice research. Within these presentations a special focus will be put on the difficult art of transcending own cultural premises and idiosyncrasy when studying social dynamics in alien cultural settings.

The summer school will each day contain a mixture of keynote presentations related to the overall- and/or the sub-theme and workshops where the PhD students present and discuss their work under the guidance of experienced researchers/keynote speakers.

As a part of the summer school, excursions, movies and cases will be used as exercises in training the ability to conceptualise design issues, methodological clues and choice of analytic strategies.

Discourse and narrative approaches to social work combine conversation analysis, membership categorisation analysis and other discourse analytic approaches as well as recent developments in narrative analysis, where the focus is on small narratives told in interaction. These approaches emphasise social work as an activity accomplished in interaction in institutional settings. They have demonstrated their usefulness in analysing e.g. client-participation and client-contributions to the construction of professional practice, professional skills in practice, knowledge production in professional-professional interaction and the specific knowledge that both clients and professionals have about the content and the effects of social work. The sub-theme will draw attention to theoretical as well as methodological aspects.

Institutional ethnography is quite a new term in qualitative research encompassing the ambition of getting in closer contact with the dynamics of modern institutions in a complex interplay between users and professionals. It comprises the ethnographic methodology from the hermeneutic tradition focusing on the interpenetration of the present and immediate with the unknown elsewhere and elsewhen and how everyday life of institutions is influenced by actions elsewhere as well as ideas, discourses and norms taken for granted in the institutional field.

Practice research is an emerging approach within social work research. The basic foundation of practice research is building theory from practice (not only from academia) and designing research projects in interaction with practice. The approach is based on a combination of research methodology, field research and practical experience. The sub-theme will focus both on theoretical and methodological approaches to and on dilemmas and contradictions within practice research in social work.

Life story analysis can only be used constructively in social work research, if we are aware of the clashes that may occur between the life story told by the unique individual, the story each involved professional tells about the life of the citizen and the life history that is generated within the specific institutional social work context. The presentation will touch upon how different theories of science understand life histories within this complexity. The main focus will be on methodological issues such as how to include such aspects as risk management and strategic thinking, biographical events and reflexivity, repair work and politics of belonging in the analysis of the biographical construction of the self.


Programme

Monday 16th of August

11.00
Bus pick up at Aalborg Airport

12.30–13.30 
Lunch at Højgaarden Hotel
13.30–14.30       
Introduction. Presentation of seminar program and participants
Lars Uggerhøj Associate Professor, ph.d., Aalborg University
 
14.30 – 18.00
Practice research
From Research to Practice: Research-based Intervention Development in Social Work
Part I: The Practice-Optimisation-Cycle
Part II: Common grounds and contrasts
Daniel Gredig Professor Dr. phil., dipl. Social Worker,
School of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, Olten, Switzerland
Practice research in Social Work
Lars Uggerhøj Associate Professor, Ph.d., Aalborg University

Coffee break included

18.00–20.00
Dinner

20.00
Sunset at the beach


Tuesday 17th of August

7.00–9.00            
Breakfast

9.00–12.00
Discourse and narrative approaches to social work research
Developing a theoretical framework for discourse and narrative approaches to social work
Carolyn Taylor Senior Lecturer in Social work, Ph.d., Lancaster University
Selected tools for analysing language use in social work
Søren Peter Olesen Associate Professor, Aalborg University

Coffee break included
 
12.00–14.00
Lunch

14.00–18.00
Paper seminar

Coffee break included

18.00–20.00
Dinner

20.00 
Evening activities


Wednesday 18th of August

7.00–9.00           
Breakfast
9.00–12.00
Life story analysis
Challenges and dilemmas when working with life histories in migration research
Marianne Skytte Associate Professor, Ph.d., Aalborg University

Coffee break included

12.00–13.00
Lunch

13.00–15.00
Paper seminar

15.00–19.00 
Field visit

19.00–21.00
Dinner

21.00
Evening activities


 

Thursday 19th of August

7.00–09.00         
Breakfast

9.00–12.00
Institutional ethnography
Concepts and Theory in Modern Ethnography

Institutional Ethnography as Practice
Alison Griffith, Professor, PhD, Faculty of Education, York University, Toronto
Institutional Ethnography of Rehabilitation Programs
Kjeld Høgsbro, Professor of Social Work, Ph.d., Aalborg University

Coffee break included

12.00–14.00
Lunch

14.00–16.00 Paper seminar

Coffee break included

16.00–18.00 
Panel presentation and discussion with the steering committee of the Nordic/Baltic doctoral network in social work

18.00–
Dinner and party





Friday 20th of August

7.00–9.00            
Breakfast

9.00–10.30 
Termination of work in paper seminar groups and joint discussions

Coffee break included

10.30–11.30
Evaluation and conclusion

11.30
Bus pick up at Højgaarden Hotel (in time to reach flight SK1214 for Copenhagen at 1.30 pm)



Abstracts and ECTS.pdf (4 KB)
Reading list summerschool 2010_v.2.pdf (14 KB)
Aalbor summer school evaluation.pdf (8 KB)
Discourse and Narrative approaches to Social Work Research Søren Peter Olesen Slides.ppt (272 KB)
Institutional Ethnography of Rehabilitation Programs_Hogsbro.ppt (6951 KB)
Institutional Ethnography_Griffith and Hogsbro.ppt (4034 KB)
Life story analysis_Marianne Skytte.ppt (183 KB)
Practice research in social work Lars Uggerhøj slides.ppt (507 KB)
The Practice Optimisation cycle Daniel Gredig Aalborg slides.ppt (518 KB)