The special interest group Conversation Analysis and Social Work was formed just before ECSWR 2023 in Milan. We take as our point of departure the central role of communication in social work. Social interaction is the vehicle by which social workers collect information, make and justify decisions, and provide support and reassurance. It is also by interacting that clients accept or resist social work activities. There is thus a strong need for knowledge about how communication in social work settings actually works. By enabling detailed, empirical analysis of interaction, conversation analysis offers a rigorous approach for understanding communicative social work practice, with the potential to both enhance theory and inform the development of practice.
The Conversation Analysis and Social Work (CASW) SIG has developed from an informal network of researchers that use conversation analysis to study social work interaction. Output from this group so far includes a special issue on conversation analysis and social work in Qualitative Social Work in 2022, and three online conferences, most recently in June 2023, where Juliet Koprowska gave a keynote. The conference had registrations from 22 countries and was attended by approximately 70 attendees with backgrounds in social work research, education, and practice.
Our aim with the SIG is to continue promoting collaborations and the production of high-quality research by forming an arena for sharing of ideas, collaborative analytic data sessions, reporting of current studies, and training of analytic skills. The group will also facilitate learning and professional development for PhD students and junior scholars who use conversation analysis in social work research. Finally, the group will work to develop both policy and practice by facilitating practical communication training based on conversation analytic research.
The CASW team
Convenor and chair
David Wilkins, Cardiff University, UK, WilkinsD3@cardiff.ac.uk
Steve Kirkwood, University Edinburgh, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabine Jørgensen, University College Southern Denmark, Denmark, SAJO@ucsyd.dk
Karin Osvaldsson Cromdal, Linköping University, Sweden, email@example.com
Marie Flinkfeldt, Uppsala University, Sweden, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clara Iversen, Uppsala University, Sweden, email@example.com
Eric Laurier, University of Edinburgh, UK, Eric.Laurier@ed.ac.uk
Marc Alexander, Heriot-Watt University, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eve Mullins, University of Edinburgh, UK, email@example.com