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Samtal om lidandet i det sociala arbetet

Källström, Lena LU (2015) SOAM21 20151
School of Social Work
Abstract
Abstract
Author: Lena Källström
Title: “Conversations about suffering in social work” (Translated title)
Supervisor: Christina Erneling
Assessor:


The aim of this thesis is to investigate how social workers conceptualise, name, relate to and understand the suffering s/he encounters when meeting clients, both from the perspective of self and the other. The study investigates the view of the individual social worker to describe the encounter with help seekers where suffering as a phenomenon is mediated, interpreted and understood
This work is of a descriptive character. In this study I use focus group interviews as data collection method since I want to capture how social workers express suffering as a concept and as a phenomenon... (More)
Abstract
Author: Lena Källström
Title: “Conversations about suffering in social work” (Translated title)
Supervisor: Christina Erneling
Assessor:


The aim of this thesis is to investigate how social workers conceptualise, name, relate to and understand the suffering s/he encounters when meeting clients, both from the perspective of self and the other. The study investigates the view of the individual social worker to describe the encounter with help seekers where suffering as a phenomenon is mediated, interpreted and understood
This work is of a descriptive character. In this study I use focus group interviews as data collection method since I want to capture how social workers express suffering as a concept and as a phenomenon in conversations with other social workers. In this respect, the advantage of using focus group interviews as method is that it allowed social workers to contemplate, name and relate to – and in some sense also understand suffering in relation to clients – both from the perspective of the self and the other. My material comes from four video recorded focus group interviews where 18 social workers and one treatment assistant participated. Video recordings allowed me to not only analyse what was said in the room, but also how things were expressed and the silent interactions between the informants.
The theories I apply to my empirical material are a social constructivist perspective, modernity theory, the philosophy of dialogue, social responsivity theory and the sociology of emotion. Suffering is here understood not only as a feeling experienced by the individual, but also as something enunciated and expressed in a social encounter.
The conclusion from the analysis of the empirical material is that, generally, social workers lack a common language to express suffering as a phenomenon in social work – in spite of the fact that all informants very well recognise and are touched by the phenomenon as such. Suffering as a concept is thus strikingly absent, at the same time as suffering as phenomenon is highly present in the profession. The lack of a common concept definition leaves social workers in a conceptual confusion which might be accompanied by an emotional void. This, in turn, might negatively affect not only the encounter between social worker and client, but also the social worker’s relation to the self. A common language for suffering as a phenomenon in social work could therefore give social workers an important tool for dealing with the very core of social work: the encounter between the self as social worker and the other as client.
English key words: Social work, social worker, client, professional encounter, suffering as concept, profession, focus group interviews, social encounter.
Svenska nyckelord: Socialt arbete, socialarbetare, klient, professionellt möte, lidande, profession, fokusgruppintervju, mellanmänskligt möte. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Källström, Lena LU
supervisor
organization
course
SOAM21 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
social encounter, focus group interviews, profession, suffering as a concept, professional encounter, client, social worker, Social work
language
Swedish
id
8232908
date added to LUP
2015-11-30 11:44:10
date last changed
2015-11-30 11:44:10
@misc{8232908,
  abstract     = {Abstract
Author: Lena Källström
Title: “Conversations about suffering in social work” (Translated title)
Supervisor: Christina Erneling
Assessor: 


The aim of this thesis is to investigate how social workers conceptualise, name, relate to and understand the suffering s/he encounters when meeting clients, both from the perspective of self and the other. The study investigates the view of the individual social worker to describe the encounter with help seekers where suffering as a phenomenon is mediated, interpreted and understood
This work is of a descriptive character. In this study I use focus group interviews as data collection method since I want to capture how social workers express suffering as a concept and as a phenomenon in conversations with other social workers. In this respect, the advantage of using focus group interviews as method is that it allowed social workers to contemplate, name and relate to – and in some sense also understand suffering in relation to clients – both from the perspective of the self and the other. My material comes from four video recorded focus group interviews where 18 social workers and one treatment assistant participated. Video recordings allowed me to not only analyse what was said in the room, but also how things were expressed and the silent interactions between the informants. 
The theories I apply to my empirical material are a social constructivist perspective, modernity theory, the philosophy of dialogue, social responsivity theory and the sociology of emotion. Suffering is here understood not only as a feeling experienced by the individual, but also as something enunciated and expressed in a social encounter.
The conclusion from the analysis of the empirical material is that, generally, social workers lack a common language to express suffering as a phenomenon in social work – in spite of the fact that all informants very well recognise and are touched by the phenomenon as such. Suffering as a concept is thus strikingly absent, at the same time as suffering as phenomenon is highly present in the profession. The lack of a common concept definition leaves social workers in a conceptual confusion which might be accompanied by an emotional void. This, in turn, might negatively affect not only the encounter between social worker and client, but also the social worker’s relation to the self. A common language for suffering as a phenomenon in social work could therefore give social workers an important tool for dealing with the very core of social work: the encounter between the self as social worker and the other as client.
English key words: Social work, social worker, client, professional encounter, suffering as concept, profession, focus group interviews, social encounter.
Svenska nyckelord: Socialt arbete, socialarbetare, klient, professionellt möte, lidande, profession, fokusgruppintervju, mellanmänskligt möte.},
  author       = {Källström, Lena},
  keyword      = {social encounter,focus group interviews,profession,suffering as a concept,professional encounter,client,social worker,Social work},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Samtal om lidandet i det sociala arbetet},
  year         = {2015},
}