Saturday, January 15, 2011: 4:30 PM-6:15 PM
Grand Salon B (Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement
Speakers/Presenters: Tara V. DeJohn, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR, Lorraine R. Tempel, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Professor, Hunter College, New York, NY, Laurie E. Pennington, MSW, LCSW, Doctoral Student, New York University, New York, NY and Simona Gaarthuis, MSW, Doctoral Candidate & Master SW, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The purpose of this workshop is to demonstrate the application of critical theory in social work research across varied areas of investigation common to the social work profession. Issues such as disproportionality, disparity, and social injustice related to people of color across systems of healthcare, child welfare, corrections, and education are important issues facing the social work profession. The literature documenting the characteristics of people experiencing disparate conditions across these systems expands over the last several decades (Clark, Buchanan, & Legters, 2008; Harris & Hackett, 2008; Hill, 2006; Stanhope, Soloman, Pernell-Arnorld, Sands, & Bourjolly, 2005). However, critiques of the systems that create these conditions are less prominent in the literature particularly in relation to their role in the perpetuation of the inequities (Abrams & Moio, 2009; Jay, 2003). Other scholars argue the need to examine interrelationships among individuals and systems (Kondrat, 2002; Morrow, 1994; Wheeler-Brooks, 2009). Examinations of contradictions within and across studies, movement beyond the status quo of organizational operations, and considerations of historical and contextualized factors pertaining to studies are facets of CT frameworks (Cox & Hardwick, 2002; Daniels, 2007). The questioning of power distribution, the means by which social institutions are maintained, along with the examination of the beneficiaries and the oppressed resulting from institutional rules and policies are other common elements to CT research efforts (Bronner, 2002; DePoy, Hartman, & Haslett, 1999; Spratt & Houston, 1999). Applying these theoretical concepts to research practice calls for careful construction of the research question, allows for a broad range of methodological designs, and necessitates the inclusion of divergent perspectives in the analyses (Creswell, 2007; Morrow, 1994). CT frameworks examine questions regarding research, policy, and practice in a dialectical manner attentive to individuals and systems (Morrow). Pedagogy, application, challenges and limitations are the three areas of focus for this workshop. Specifically, the facilitators will provide discussion on 1) the core principles of CT approaches and elements of other theories frequently clustered with CT (i.e., critical race theory, feminism, and structuration theory). 2) An overview of various schools of CT ranging from the Frankefurt School scholars to Habermas and other contemporary CT scholars. 3) Presentation of current research projects that provide examples of CT applications across varied areas of qualitative investigation. These independent projects include narratives with mothers involved in a child welfare system, a case study on explorations of cultural competence training in a public child welfare system, explorations of power and female substance use, and explorations of the professionalization of social workers in a Western European country. 4) Discussion of common challenges and limitations of CT approaches. 5) Encouragement of audience participation in exploring utilization of CT approaches in their research areas of interest and social work education. Linkage of CT to social work's ethics and social justice values will serve as a continuous theme. A concluding goal of the workshop is to demonstrate CT as a viable tool to move social work research and pedagogy further towards actualizing the elimination of oppression across systems and fields of practice.
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