Social Work as Narrative Storytelling and Persuasion in Professional Texts
First published in 1997, this volume presents a critical analysis of how social work is formulated in everyday practice. Christopher Hall sets the task of exploring how social workers make their work visible and justifiable through their talk and writing. The analysis examines conversations and documents in which social workers describe and justify their work in research interviews, reports and case notes. Social workers construct convincing occupational stories to convince judges, supervisors and other critical readers and listeners. Drawing on narrative analysis, Hall explores how such language practices create characters, plots and address audiences. At the time of publication the use of reflexive writing was seen as controversial; however, this study was a forerunner to what has become a flourishing scholarship in narrative and reflexivity in social work writing and practice.
1. An Alternative Approach to Social Work: Accounts, Texts and Narrative. 2. Narrative as Performance. 3. Social Work Texts as Stories with Readers. 4. Handling Blame and Constructing Moral Character. 5. Explaining the ‘Facts’ and Claiming Entitlement. 6. Retellings: Following the Social Work Story. 7. Reported Speech: Hearing the Words of the Client. 8. Depicting Character: Reading Adequate Representations of the Client.