Summer School 2013

Social work as a discipline

Knowledge, theory and research

12–16 August, 2013 in Riga, Latvia

The 5th summer school of Nordic-Baltic Doctoral Network in Social Work will focus on social work as a discipline, embracing knowledge, research and theory. The topic will also be reflected in relation to evidence and how it can be interpreted in different knowledge regimes. The aim of the course is to discuss different forms of knowledge produced within social work research and its implication for generating theory and further development of the discipline. We will also give room for discussions on social work as a discipline among other disciplines.


Monday 12/8
at The Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Latvia, Lomonosova Street 1, Riga

12.00 Lunch (at participants’ own expense)

Introduction and presentation of the course
Kerstin Svensson, Professor in Social Work, and
Eva Johnsson, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Lund University, Sweden

Presentation of the participants


16.00–17.30 Identity, Narrative and Social Work. Why do we need to speak about identities in social work settings?
Baiba Bela, Associate Professor, University of Latvia

Dinner (at participants’ own expense)

Tuesday 13/8  
9.00–12.00 Social Work Research as Theory of Social Science.
The boundary of knowledge versus the organization of Academia.
Thomas Brante, Professor in Social Work and Sociology, Lund University, Sweden


Lunch (at participants’ own expense)

Paper presentations, parallel groups


Student evening program

Wednesday 14/8  
9.00–11.00 Theoretical Self-conception of Social Work as a Discipline:
Dealing with the Diversity of Traditions, Understandings and Practices.
Juha Hämäläinen, Professor in Social Work, University of Eastern Finland

11.30-13.00 Paper presentations, parallel groups

Lunch (at participants’ own expense)

Field visit

Dinner (at participants’ own expense)

 Thursday 15/8  
9.00–12.00 Paper presentations, parallel groups


Lunch (at participants’ own expense)

13.30–15.30 Research in Social Work - Topics and Epistemological Tools.
Staffan Höjer, Professor in Social Work, Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


16.00–17.00 Discussion and preparations for meeting the steering committee

Dinner (at participants’ own expense)

Friday 16/8  
9.00–10.30 Panel presentation and discussion with the steering committee.

Coffee break

11.00–12.30 Concluding session and evaluation of the Summer school

Lunch (at participants’ own expense)


How to participate

The NBSW summer school is free of charge and open for all social work doctoral students in Nordic-Baltic countries. Lectures of the summer school are open for everyone, but if you want to take part in all summer school activities (groups, field trips), you should apply to the summer school. Application period has ended on March 31 and 20 PhD students have been accepted to the summer school with travel grants.


Students who present a short paper receive 4.0 ECTS, while students who present an accepted full paper receive the maximum of 7.5 ECTS, both will include five working days. 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. The short paper should be sent to Kerstin Svensson (kerstin.svensson[at] and Eva Johnsson (eva.johnsson[at] before 2013-07-25. Please see instructions below.

Literature list

Participants are expected to read articles relevant to the topic before the summer school. You'll find the literature list below in PDF.

Travelling and accommodation

PhD students are expected to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. You'll find information about possible accommodation options below.

Program committee

The Summer school is organized together with NBSW, Swedish Research School and University of Latvia. The responsible teachers are university lecturer Eva Johnsson and professor Kerstin Svensson from Lund University, Sweden. Local key person is professor Aija Zobena from University of Latvia.

More information

NBSW coordinator Noora Tuohino, noora.tuohino(a)
Professor Aija Zobena, Aija.Zobena(a)
Professor Eva Johnsson, Eva.Johnsson(a)


Information about hotels in Riga.pdf (19 KB)
Instructions to participants.pdf (8 KB)
Litterature.pdf (8 KB)
Public transportation in Riga_instructions.pdf (173 KB)
Riga_Program.pdf (7 KB)
Travel application.xls (100 KB)
Travel bill 2013.xls (141 KB)
Travel grant instructions_2013.pdf
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