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University of Gothenburg

Discourse and narrative approaches to social work and counselling - DANASWAC

DANASWAC is a group of researchers who share an interest to study the practices of social work and counselling by using discourse, narrative and ethnographic approaches.

About the network

The DANASWAC group has academic members from nine European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Netherland, Norway, Sweden and Slovenia). The co-operation of the group has its roots in the symposium Constructing Social Work Practices held in the University of Tampere in 1997. In 2004 the network has started regular annual meetings. (more about the history of the group)

In addition to annual meetings the group organises own workshops and sessions in social work conferences, produces common publications and is maintaining a wider network via an e-mail list. In the long run, DANASWAC is planning a joint international research project.

Themes of the DANASWAC to research, writing and practice are:

  1. Seeing the entities as social constructed rather than ready formed
  2. Importance of a focus on everyday practices, drawing on traditions of discourse and narrative theory and research
  3. Promoting discourse, narrative and ethnographic approaches in social work research, practice and education
  4. Promoting a dialogue between ideas and evidence, when research data in being analysing
  5. Research to address the dilemmas of practitioners and clients, concerned to identify, examine and debate what is seen as ‘good practice’ and ‘success’ as well as ‘mistakes’ and ‘traps’
  6. Widen what counts as ‘evidence’ in assessing practice
  7. Influenced by constructionist and interactional theories, promoting dialogues between clients and professionals in agencies in which there is dialogue between workers and managers, and educators and students
  8. Assisting practitioners to describe and publicly present their work in their own words, thus resisting formats which restrict workers from discovering their own practice
  9. Assisting clients to give a voice to points of view
  10. Encourage practitioners and clients to become researchers to overcome the distinctions between researchers and subjects of research, as well as supporting research at a distant where appropriate
  11. Promote multi-disciplinary and multi-professional discussions to generate new ideas
  12. Promoting international collaboration