International Doctoral Practice Research Seminar

Friday 12 April 2024, 9am-11am UK time / 11am-13pm Finnish time / 8-10pm Australian time

Online seminar hosted by the Helsinki Practice Research Centre, University of Helsinki, The Centre of Social Work Innovation and Research, University of Sussex, UK, and The University of Melbourne, Australia.

The third International Doctoral Research Seminar continues on research being conducted in professional practice, exploring in particular aspects of the substantive research topic and research design of three doctoral research projects.


Arts-Based Social Work as Means for Participation and Democracy

Petra Malin, University of Helsinki, Finland

In this presentation, the researcher discusses how embodied and arts-based knowing is valuable to knowledge production, participation and democracy in social work. The presentation is based on a doctoral research project that analyzes how arts-based practices, particularly playback theatre and social circus, can be used as means for participation and democracy in the context of social work. The research objective is to critically analyze what kind of participation and democracy are created through the use of arts-based practices in social work, how the participants did perceive social work and social and health care services, and how the meanings given to them were approached through arts-based means. The aim is to produce knowledge that can be used to enhance possibilities for participation for people who use social services and social assistance.

The research was conducted through participating in two processes that utilized arts-based interventions in a welfare service context, in municipal adult social work in a city in Southern Finland. The participants were service users and social workers co-developing social services and exploring the use of arts-based practices together with professional artists. The research methodology is ethnography, with an emphasis on sensory ethnography, a methodology that explicitly attends to the senses and the body at different stages of the research process (Pink, 2015). The research utilizes arts-based research tools, such as metaphors and bodily knowing (Foster, 2016). The epistemological starting point of the study is feminist phenomenology of the body (Merleau-Ponty 1994, Young 2005). The analysis is theory-informed and utilizes democratic theory by Iris Marion Young (2000) and Jacques Rancière (2006).

Exploring ethical and methodological dilemmas in working with children experiencing violence and conflict 

May Nasrawy, University of Sussex, UK

In this presentation, May Nasrawy will explore some of the ethical and methodological dilemmas she experienced when conducting research with children and young people from a minority background, and whose lives are constantly characterised by ongoing violence and structural inequality. Nasrawy will also reflect on the challenges she experienced in making sense of the difficult stories told by my participants, the impact they had on her personal, academic and professional identity and most of all what they taught her about the ways in which we listen to children and young people in and through research. 

The Ubuntu Family Group Conference Model

Teresia Nduta Kanyi, The University of Melbourne, Australia

In her thesis, Teresia Nduta Kanyi worked with the African community in Victoria to develop a social work model of practice for working with African families seeking child welfare services in Australia. She used practice research and methodological pluralism as fundamental approaches in three iterative waves. The outcome of the research is the Ubuntu Family Group Conference (UFGC) a transformed model of the Family Group Conference FGC.  


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Meeting ID: 695 7387 0021

Passcode: 323427