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Med relationen som redskap?: Om socialsekreterare, klientarbete och professionalitet i socialtjänsten
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2018 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Using the relationship as a tool? : Social workers, clinical work and professionalism in the social services (English)
Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna avhandling är att belysa hur socionomer talar om relationen och dess betydelse för klientarbete inom socialtjänsten. Relationen mellan socialarbetare och klient beskrivs ofta som ett kärnområde i socialt arbete, som ”praktikens hjärta”, men ämnet är också laddat i det sociala arbetet diskurs. I debatter om evidensbaserat socialt arbete beskrivs exempelvis relationsbaserat arbete ibland som en motpol till standardiserade arbetsmetoder. I denna avhandling undersöks en del av socionomers yrkespraktik som inte alltid förknippas med goda relationer – socialt arbete i socialtjänstens myndighetsutövande praktiker. Avhandlingen har ett professionsperspektiv och socialsekreterares tal om relationens betydelse förstås i förhållande till socionomprofessionens kunskapsbas och professionella identitet. Studien bygger på kvalitativa intervjuer med 20 socionomer som har erfarenhet av arbetet som socialsekreterare. Det empiriska materialet har bearbetats genom tematisk analys och med hjälp av begreppen diskretion, professionell identitet, diskursuniversum och doxa. Avhandlingen har en teoretiserande ansats och resultaten tolkas och diskuteras utifrån metaforen ”att använda relationen som redskap”. Socialsekreterarna beskriver relationen till klienterna som viktig och som något de använder i sitt arbete. I många fall handlar deras reflektioner också om rollen som socialsekreterare och om gränserna för professionalitet i socialtjänsten. Socialsekreterarna talar dock inte explicit om relationen till klienterna som professionsspecifik kunskap utan relationens positiva betydelse beskrivs som något de alltid har vetat. Resultaten i avhandlingen ger fördjupad förståelse för hur relationen, och talet om dess betydelse, kan användas som ett professionellt redskap i socialt arbete.

Abstract [en]

The overall focus of this thesis is how social workers in the social services in Sweden talk about the social worker-client relationship which is fundamental in both research and social work practice. Rather than problematized, the worker-client relationship is often comprehended as unquestionably good and described in value-added terms as “the heart” of social work. However, there are discursive tensions related to the debate on evidence-based social work where the social worker-client relationship sometimes becomes a representative of the “heart and soul” of social work as opposed to standardized working methods. The thesis adopts a professional perspective by linking the talk about social worker-client relationships to the knowledge base and professional identity of social workers. The empirical data consists of qualitative interviews with 20 social workers who have various work experience in the social services. The data has been processed using thematic text analysis and interpreted through the theoretical concepts of discretion, professional identity, universe of discourse and doxa. The study has a theorizing approach and the results are discussed through the metaphor of “the relationship as a tool”. The social workers claim that the worker-client relationship is important and something they use in their work. Views of the relationship is also related to the social workers’ professional role and prerequisites for professionalism. However, the social workers do not explicitly talk about the worker-client relationship as professional knowledge. Rather, the importance of the relationship is perceived as self-evident and as something they have always known. The results in this thesis enables in-depth knowledge about how the social worker-client relationship, and talking about its importance, can be used as a professional tool in social work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018. , p. 301
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 753
Keywords [en]
Social workers, social services, social worker-client relationship, professionalism, theorizing
Keywords [sv]
Socionomer, socialtjänst, relationer, klientarbete, professionalitet, teoretisering
National Category
Social Work Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151040DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-151040ISBN: 9789176852125 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-151040DiVA, id: diva2:1247214
Public defence
2018-10-05, K3, Önnesjösalen, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-09-11 Created: 2018-09-11 Last updated: 2019-09-26Bibliographically approved

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Sjögren, Jessica

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