Maguinness, Noreen (2019) Big Stories and Little Stories: how children and family social workers make sense of who they are, what they do and how they do it in a climate of failure, blame and certainty. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis reports a qualitative study which employed a combination of narrative inquiry and the conceptual framework of Bourdieu to explore who children and family social workers are and how they perceive their role and responsibilities, and those of other professionals when practising on the field of safeguarding. I carried out semi-structured interviews, involving 20 children and family social workers across the Midlands and Northwest of England. I asked the participants to share their stories of their day-to-day experiences of being a social worker. Thematic analysis revealed how the children and family social workers who participated in the study make sense of who professionally they are, what they do and how and why they do it in a climate of fear, blame and certainty. My analysis has led to an original concept of Four Windows into children and family social work: Sense Makers, operating In the Borderlands of practice while Managing Difference and Talking Back to Blame. The four windows into social work shine a new light on the professional space carved out by children and family social workers and provide understandings into how they actively shape and re-shape their professional identities in response to the Big Stories of certainty, blame and failure by claiming the Little Stories of children and family social work. The stories from day-to-day practices of children and family social workers showed their ability to absorb and manage several competing storylines simultaneously. Through the Four Windows social workers are seen to construct and have constructed for them, their professional identity by juggling several narratives simultaneously.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV40 Social service. Social work. Charity organization and practice
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Allied Health Professions
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2019 15:58
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2019 15:58
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7138

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