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  • 1.
    Börjeson, Martin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Johansson, Kerstin
    In search for a model for knowledge production and practice research in Swedish social work2014In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 70-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, a number of studies have shown that the scientific base for Swedish social work is weak and that methods for evaluation of practice are poorly developed. As a response to this, the government has made significant efforts to develop evidence-based practice (EBP) within social services. However, these efforts have so far been characterised as a top-down project, and as several authors have concluded, they have not proved productive. Therefore, they must, it is argued, give way to EBP where the role of the profession is central. This article should be seen as a contribution to the discussion of this alternative route. We try to tackle the crucial question about how the knowledge base for social work practice can be strengthened, and we discuss a model for developing education and research in collaboration with social work practice. In this, the tradition of Practice research has offered important points of departure.

  • 2.
    Cedersund, Elisabet
    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.
    Categories of otherness: on the use of discursive positioning and stories in social work research2013In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 130-138Article in journal (Refereed)
    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

  • 3.
    Ekholm, David
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Mobilising the sport-based community: the construction of social work through rationales of advanced liberalism2017In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 155-167Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on the forms and conditions of welfare provision and social work in the transforming welfare state. The Sport Programme (SP) is a municipal sport-based social intervention launched in response to segregation causing tensions in society, crime, and social exclusion. The programme constitutes a case for examination. Sport activities for youths at risk in the SP are assumed to foster a sense of community and social cohesion. The article investigates how ‘the community’ is constructed as a space for social inclusion. A variety of statements articulated by policy makers and municipal administrators are analysed from a governmentality perspective. The analysis suggests that ‘community’ is formed by distinguishing the SP from public welfare and social work and by mobilising civil society in the intervention. Public welfare is problematised as bureaucratic and insufficient, whereas civil society is associated with the potency of voluntarism, authentic leadership, and personal relations based on common identity and shared experiences. By involving a social entrepreneur, the SP mobilises and activates civil society as a means of responding to social problems, forming ‘community’ as a space with a ‘human touch’. Such a partnership re-distributes responsibility for responding to social problems to a variety of agencies. It is discussed how the SP enables role model identification as the primary governing rationale and how this incorporates elements of de-professionalisation in social work. Consideration is given to challenges for social work and to how activating ‘community’ illustrates tendencies and transformations in contemporary Swedish welfare provision.

  • 4.
    Ekström, Veronica
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Negotiating and Justifying Social Services’ Support for Female Victims of Domestic Violence2017In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 18-29Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The social services in Sweden have become key actors in the field of support for female victims of domestic violence. However, knowledge about what kind of support the social services offer is underdeveloped. The aim of this article is to examine social workers’ perceptions of the needs they meet among female victims of domestic violence, what kind of support they offer to meet these needs, and how they use their discretion to negotiate and justify their work. The article builds on a qualitative analysis of interviews with social workers. The analysis shows that the social workers have a great deal of discretion, as a result of framework legislation and a high status among local politicians and managers. However, both specialization and a lack of available services limit their discretion. What an abused woman is offered or is entitled to is negotiated and justified depending on, for example, which services are available, whether the woman is considered to have own resources (not only financial but also emotional and practical), and if the social worker is available. Three main strategies for reducing workload are identified: increasing demands for authority decisions, transferring responsibility to others, and placing requirements on the abused women’s actions and attitudes.

  • 5.
    Eriksson, Erik
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    The naked truth about migrants’ views: User involvement as radical knowledge production2018In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This ethnographic case study examines how knowledge was produced in collaboration between a welfare organization and its target group. The study investigated the Swedish Public Employment Service (PES), which is responsible for the integration of newly arrived migrants through the ‘introduction programme’. To explore how migrants perceived its services, the PES initiated a six-month project in which three employee-researchers and four participant-researchers (migrants participating in the introduction programme) conducted an interview study together. I followed the project as an independent researcher, making observations and conducting interviews with the members of the research group on several occasions.

    The study shows the participant-researchers were enabled to obtain quite extensive control over the project. The study also suggests that organizational leadership on practical and methodological matters does not necessarily conflict with the user perspective of the study. The project produced knowledge that revealed the migrants’ perceptions in a relatively unedited way. The knowledge produced was ‘radical’ as it differed considerably from the typical knowledge produced by the organization, which made it unfamiliar and difficult to handle. Not until the final report of the project included an organizational perspective was it made official, and even so the PES made no efforts to publicly present or disseminate the report.

  • 6.
    Michailakis, Dimitris
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Schirmer, Werner
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies.
    The Help system and its Reflection Theory: A Sociological Observation of Social Work2015In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, no 1, p. 1-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The relation between sociology and social work is analysed in this article as a relation between observer and object of observation. As a theoretical framework, we use Luhmannian systems theory, according to which modern society is characterised by functional differentiation, that is a horizontal structure of function systems such as polity, economy, education, science, law, etc. Each of these ful fils a particular function for society. One such system is the help system, referring to social services and their practice. Its societal function is the management of inclusion/exclusion and social integration. Function systems contain what Luhmann calls‘reflection theories’, which are associated with specific academic disciplines (such as the political system/political theory/political science or the education system/pedagogical theory/ educational science). Although their basic operations are linked to science (research, theories and methods, publications), reflection theories are part of their system; their function is to reflect on the unity and meaning of the function system. This article argues that the discipline of social work serves as the reflection theory for the help system. A solid reflection theory in the help system is important in order to define guiding criteria for professional ethics to be used in social services. The lack of an adequate reflection theory can lead to the intrusion of ideologies that are inappropriate to the logic of the help system, such as New Public Management or administrative technocracy, which might threaten the integrity of the help system.

  • 7.
    Silvén Hagström, Anneli
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    ‘The stranger inside’: suicide-related grief and ‘othering’ among teenage daughters following the loss of a father to suicide2013In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 185-193Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Grief research highlights risks associated with parental suicide during childhood and adolescence: mental illness, social difficulties, repeated suicide attempts and actual suicide. This article aims to explore how these ‘risks’ are constituted, by investigating the relationship between suicide-related grief and ‘othering’ in four young women’s narratives on their experiences of losing a father to suicide during adolescence. Othering works through expressions of insecurity, avoidance and outright rejection from individuals in the women’s vicinity and even family members. However, what is noteworthy is that othering is also found to work from the inside; due to their father’s norm-breaking act, the women describe themselves as actually being ‘different’ or ‘strange.’ Moreover, attempts to ‘normalise, or ‘liberate’ oneself from the suicide involves attempts to understand its reasons. The preoccupation with ‘why questions,’ thereby primarily appears to be a question of self-formation. ‘The stranger inside’ is described as the strongest impediment to seeking social support.

  • 8.
    Wolmesjö, Maria
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Book review of: Organizing Age: /Organizing Age, by Stephen Fineman2014In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 21, no 2, p. 293-301, article id 938942Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Åkerlund, Nina
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Gottzén, Lucas
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Children’s voices in research with children exposed to intimate partner violence: A critical review2017In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 42-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses how qualitative research with children exposed to intimate partner violence deals with methodological issues of children’s voices. Violence researchers argue for the need to see children as competent social actors, di erentiate between groups of children, attending to adult– child asymmetry in research and acknowledging children’s individual experiences. However, little is said about how children’s voices are produced in their local, cultural and societal contexts. There is also an ignorance of the politics of representation, which may hamper the development of ethically responsible research on children exposed to intimate partner violence. 

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