Language Practices in Social Work: Categorisation and Accountability in Child Welfare

1st Edition

Christopher Hall, Stefaan Slembrouck, Srikant Sarangi

Published February 2, 2006
Reference - 202 Pages
ISBN 9780415356879 - CAT# RU6873X

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Analysis of language and discourse in social sciences has become increasingly popular over the past thirty years. Only very recently has it been applied to the study of social work, despite the fact that communication and language are central to social work practice.

This book looks at how social workers, their clients and other professionals categorise and manage the problems of social work in ways which are rendered understandable, accountable and which justify professional intervention. Features include:

  • studies of key practice areas in social work, such as interviews, case conferences, home visits
  • analysis of the language and construction used in typical case studies of everyday social work practice
  • exploration of the ways in which professionals can examine their own practice and uncover the discursive, narrative and rhetorical methods that they use.

The purpose of this engaging study is to increase awareness of language and discourse in order to help develop better practice in social work. It is essential reading for professionals in social work, child welfare and the human services and will be a valuable contribution to the study of professional language and communication.


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