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Narrating significant experience: reflective accounts and the production of (self) knowledge.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/2006
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Journal number2
Volume36
Number of pages18
Pages189-206
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Notwithstanding the rise of evidence-based practice, other tendencies within social work scholarship are also discernible. One of these is the study of the everyday, routine accomplishment of practice, drawing on microsociological methods and techniques. In this article, I apply techniques drawn from narrative and discourse analysis to the study of reflective practice accounts, which hold an important place in social work education. In particular, it is relevant to examine the form that reflective accounts take and the rhetorical and narrative devices deployed within them to accomplish a competent professional identity. My argument is not that such accounts of practice are untruthful, rather I propose that we would do well to move beyond taking texts (and talk) for granted and treating language as merely the medium for expressing inner thoughts and feelings. Social work should take seriously the need to explore its modes of representation and to cultivate a more self-conscious approach to the way professional and client identities are produced in practice.

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Social Work and Social Policy & Administration