Qualitative Social Work and Social Work's Intellectual History

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Social work has a rich intellectual history that has roots in 19th century German philosophy that emphasized understanding meanings in context, immersion of researchers in social settings they want to understanding, interpretations that are based on descriptions of multiple perspectives, and emancipatory purposes. This slide show places social work in an intellectual history that is unknown to many and vibrant to this day.

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Qualitative Social Work and Social Work's Intellectual History

  1. 1. Qualitative Social Work & Social Work’s Intellectual History Jane F. Gilgun, Ph.D., LICSW Professor, School of Social Work University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA First Annual International Social Work Day Urbana, IL May 18, 2011
  2. 2. Topics Understanding Experiences in Interactive Contexts Immersion Grounded Interpretations Emancipatory Purposes
  3. 3. Overview Many intellectual histories Jane Addams and the Chicago School American pragmatism Core social work values Qualitative research delivers on this heritage
  4. 4. Understanding Experiences in Interactive Contexts Verstehen Erlibnis Reflexivity Interaction Multiple perspectives
  5. 5. Immersion Sustained engagement in the field Sometimes multiple methods Brings about in-depth understandings of human experiences in context These meanings are laden with socially constructed meanings that are subject to careful analysis
  6. 6. Grounded Interpretations Experiences in context are primary What does this mean?
  7. 7. Grounded Interpretations Experiences in context are primary What does this mean? We make sense of this material through concepts
  8. 8. Grounded Interpretations Experiences in context are primary We make sense of this material through concepts Is this what we do? Understand Describe Interpret Multiple products
  9. 9. Emancipatory Work Social work innately emancipatory Origins of social work research were based on values Follow principles of credible research Considerable variations on how we advocate
  10. 10. Summary & Discussion Characteristics have a strong philosophical base Understanding experiences in context Immersion Researcher interpretations based on descriptions Emancipatory goals

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