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Categories of otherness: on the use of discursive positioning and stories in social work research
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1443-5895
2013 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 3, no 2, 130-138 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article has a focus on how discursive positioning is carried out during encounters between people in the daily routine of social work, and how a basis for “otherness” can be created through positioning during the social work encounters. Social work practice includes discursive activity between social workers and clients, and the occurrence of stories is seen as a central element in this activity. Narratives have in earlier studies been described as tools used in social work practice, and parts of the narrative are often documented and compiled with the rest of the information gathered to serve as a basis for professionals’ actions. Theories relating to the narrative relayed during the encounter between social worker and client have evolved over the past few decades, and this development is also reflected in social work research. One key theme that has emerged in this research is the use of narratives to categorize the clients in the social services. Analyses carried out in recent years, however, have gradually become ever more refined, and show how people position themselves in relation to others on the basis of words such as “we” and “them”. This article gives an overview of this development in social work research with the use of empirical examples from social work practices in different fields of social services, from the encounters in social work offices, and assessment meetings in eldercare, and from team talk among professionals

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2013. Vol. 3, no 2, 130-138 p.
Keyword [en]
discourse analysis, interaction studies, narrative analysis, social care, social constructionism
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108482DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2013.826141OAI: diva2:730529
Available from: 2014-06-28 Created: 2014-06-28 Last updated: 2015-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Cedersund, Elisabet
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NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later LifeFaculty of Health Sciences
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