• Lina Vitten Østenfjeld
  • Michelle Hedemand
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
This project is a theoretical research that arises from an inspiration by Intersectionality. Intersectionality analyze categories as intersections of power relations. The categories are inseparable from each other, which means that categories can only be understood through there intersections. We were inspired by this as a way of looking at social problems in a holistic way, that would make the social work able to analyze the causality of the social problems. This inspiration also became a critique of how social work and its methods are not able to grasp all the dimensions of the social problems, since social work and its methods are dominated by other rationalities to make the social problems evident and measurable. The aim in this project is to be use Intersectionality to make a reflection model, that can qualify social work in a holistic way and capture the complex nature of social problems. This project uses two scientific theories, social constructivism and critical realism, as a methodology and theoretical basis for the analysis. We use social constructivism to deconstruct the method “Voksenudredningsmetoden” to find out how knowledge is framed and what kind of knowledge dominates how social work views the social problems. We then use critical realism to make a reconstruction of knowledge as a base to view and analyze the social problems through a reflection model. We find that “Voksenudredningsmetoden” use predefined categories, that find objective and measurable results of the social problem, and thereby form a analytical method that both reduces the complexity of the social problems and makes it transferrable to several types of social problems regardless of context. Furthermore, it reduces the social problem to an individualistic problem, and is focused on how the individual is able to cope rather than how there are structural conditions that influences the social problem. In response to this we form a reflection model. The essence is to understand the social problem formed by a relation of categories, and that categories always have an understanding of their content and meaning attached to them. The reflection model challenges and searches to find these understanding to understand how a relation of categories make up a social problem. This is understood using critical realism to understand categories as generative mechanisms that make up a causality understanding. Through the analysis we find that the reflection model can capture the social problems natural complexity and can open up to a larger base and types of knowledge to include into the analysis of the social problem. It supports a reflective praxis and puts the social worker into a role of a person of knowledge. In opposition to “Voksenudredningsmetoden” we find that the reflection model is able to regard context, which put together with the grasp of complexity makes the model able to analyze each social problem as a unique situation, and therefore puts it focus on the citizen first before the analysis method. The categories arise from the social problem instead of making the social problem fit into predetermined categories. In the end, we find that the reflection model can both reflectively complement existing methods in social work but can also be used on its own.
Publication date16 Sep 2019
Number of pages88
ID: 310995175