• Social Work Through Collaborative Autoethnography

      Gant, Valerie; Cheatham, Lisa; DiVito, Hannah; Offei, Ebenezer; Williams, Gemma; Yatosenge, Nathalie; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2019-02-13)
      This paper discusses a research project involving 5 MA Social Work Students and 1 member of Social Work Academic Staff. Using narrative and taking a collaborative autoethnographical approach, this project highlights some of the feelings that students articulated following a 70 day placement experience. Findings include anxiety, powerlessness and frustration, together with growing confidence, recognition of their skills and a deeper understanding of the role of ‘self’ in social work. Raising issues of preparedness for practice placement, this paper has implications for both social work practice and social work education. Autoethnography (AE) is both a method of carrying out research and a methodology, specifically a qualitative methodology linked to ethnography and narrative inquiry. AE results in highly personalised narrative accounts of the researcher’s engagement with specific sociocultural contexts in the pursuit of knowing more about a phenomenon. Applying such a methodology to explore collaboratively issues of student lived experience of placement is a new and innovative use of this method.