A Doctoral Research Seminar

Wednesday 17 May, 2023, 8-10am UK time/ 10am-12pm Finnish time/ 7-9pm 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 second 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.



Understanding Inequalities through Space, Time and Materiality: Environmental movements promoting social justice and wellbeing beyond the human

Fanny Södergran, The Practice Research Centre, Helsinki

Fanny’s research explores how residents engaged in environmental movements, experience the social injustices and wellbeing dimensions of the climate crisis. By seeking to understand how residents comprehend themselves in relation to the natural environment, the research focuses also on the wellbeing of nature and non-human subjects. The analysis conducts inquiries into how environmental movements make meaning of how circumstances mediated by space, time and materiality, generate unequal possibilities for wellbeing and social justice in the climate crisis. The study will contribute new knowledge of entanglements with, and ethical accountability towards nature, comprising multiple subjects confronted by the risks of climate crisis. The research generates important considerations for social work, with the consequences of climate changE directly embedded in its practices. Through social work’s focus on people’s agencies in reconstructing their futures, and its historical development alongside social movements, it must also support bottom-up initiatives by people working for change. To promote this perspective, the data consists of interviews with, and blog posts from, residents engaged in environmental movements in the Helsinki metropolitan area.


“You’re bringing your stuff to the relationship...”: British female social workers’ understandings and experiences of the concepts of gender, sexual orientation and sexuality and how these impact their relationships with boys/young men who display harmful sexual behaviours

Anna Hutchings, Centre Social Work Innovation and Research, University of Sussex

In the UK, social work is a ‘female majority profession’ (McPhail 2004) and as such, most of the social work practice with boys and young men in respect of HSB will be undertaken by female social workers. Alongside this, those who sexually harm are mostly male children and adults (Hackett, 2014). There is a lack of research into the gendered nature of HSB and how gender stereotypes, victim-blaming attitudes and sexual assault myths might be thought about and addressed in this context. This PhD research project offers a qualitative exploration, using semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observation, of how UK female social workers consider these ideas in their practice with boys and young men who display HSB. Using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis findings suggest that female social workers’ individual experiences influenced how they thought about gender, in respect of themselves, and in their work with boys and young men and the specific ways they attempted to acknowledge, explore and challenge gendered beliefs and attitudes in their relationships with boys and young men who display HSB. This research contributes to understandings of gender focused interventions in the HSB practice context.


Working with Families during Critical Health Events: Considering psychosocial care during paediatric emergencies

Alys-Marie Manguy, University of Melbourne, Australia

Alys-Marie’s PhD examines the acute psychosocial care of families in pediatric resuscitation situations within the Emergency Department at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. The project aims to develop an evidence-informed model of care that begins before the family enters the hospital system. Guided by a social work practice-based research approach, the study has utilised a mixed methodology, including a scoping literature review, clinical audit, and parent
interviews. The results propose a model for the acute psychosocial care of families of seriously unwell children brought to hospital in emergency situations.


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Meeting ID: 361 545 967 019
Passcode: 3VFRAr