Language Discordant Social Work in a Multilingual World : The Space Between book cover
1st Edition

Language Discordant Social Work in a Multilingual World
The Space Between

  • Available for pre-order on March 31, 2023. Item will ship after April 21, 2023
ISBN 9781032394596
April 21, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

Based on ethnographic observations of encounters between social workers and people with whom they do not have a shared language, this book analyses the impact of language discordance on the quality of professional service provision.
Exploring how street level bureaucrats navigate the landscape of these discretionary assessments of language discordance, language proficiency, and the need for interpreting, the book on four main themes:

• the complexity of social work talk

• the issue of participation in language discordant meetings

• communicative interaction

• the issue of how clarification is requested when needed, and whether professionals and service users are able to reach clarity when something is unclear

Based on the findings presented on these different aspects of language discordant talk, the consequences of language discordance for social work are presented and discussed, focusing primarily on issues at the intersection of language, communication, power, dominance and subordination, representation, linguicism and ultimately, human rights and human dignity.
It will be of interest to all social work students, academics and professionals as well as those working in public services and allied health more broadly.

Table of Contents

1.Introduction: Social work in a multilingual world.  2.Language discordant social work communication.  3.Complexity of talk in social work meetings.  4.Participation in social work meetings.  5.Communicative interaction in social work meetings.  6.Requesting clarification and reaching clarity.  7.Social work and human dignity in the context of language discordance.

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Hilde Fiva Buzungu is associate professor at the department of social work, child welfare and social policy at Oslo Metropolitan University in Norway. Her research focuses on communicative interaction between professional practitioners and linguistic minorities, with particular attention given to issues of power and domination, communicative oppression and linguicist structures in society.