New Voices: The usefulness of a narrative approach to social work research

Hill, Cath and Burrows, Geoff (2017) New Voices: The usefulness of a narrative approach to social work research. Qualitative Social Work, 16 (2). ISSN 1473-3250

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For many new academics, coming to a decision about which research methodology to employ for their doctoral studies can be daunting. Faced with numerous options, sometimes contradictory advice from experienced scholars and a desire to find the perfect match for a research question, one can find the decision to opt for a particular methodological path a huge step, and it can be hindered by nagging concerns and a lack of academic experience. This article draws together two short pieces of writing from PhD students at Lancaster University, who attended and were inspired by a workshop on narrative methods, led by Professor Catherine Kohler Riessman. The first piece is a reflective account of why the author was drawn to narrative methods for her research. It explores the impact of charities and how this is articulated qualitatively, within the context of a mixed market approach to welfare and health service provision in the UK. It discusses what she observes to be the parallels between a narrative research approach and her practice as a social worker and details her experience of completing her first narrative interview. The second is about how the author was inspired by the workshop to produce a pilot study on attitudes of male offenders towards violence against women using the narrative approach and including excerpts from his research data. Finally, it draws together their thoughts about the workshop and how they intend to continue working with narratives in their future.

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Journal Article
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Qualitative Social Work
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05 Jan 2023 14:10
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 01:31