Session: Cross-Disciplinary Approaches for Responding to Social Work's Grand Challenges (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

330 Cross-Disciplinary Approaches for Responding to Social Work's Grand Challenges

Sunday, January 20, 2019: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Continental Parlor 9, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement (RD&M)
Sara L. Schwartz, PhD, University of Southern California, Tam Perry, PhD, Wayne State University, Matthew Borus, MSW, University of Chicago, Faith Hopp, PhD, Wayne State University, Michael Kral, PhD, Wayne State University and Michael Reisch, PhD, University of Maryland at Baltimore
In 2016, the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare launched the Grand Challenges for Social Work, an initiative that calls upon social workers to build collaborations and use science to create innovative solutions that target 12 key social problems. A premise of the Grand Challenges is that the social is fundamental. Contexts matter to social workers adhering to a person-in-environment approach. It is through this deep understanding of people in their environments that the profession can respond to social problems and alleviate human suffering. Two fields that provide insights into social worlds are anthropology and sociology. Anthropologists study culture, society and human behavior as outsiders addressing questions of belonging and identity while sociologists seek to understand social processes and power. Although these disciplines naturally complement social work, limited attention has been given to the processes by which social workers can integrate anthropological and sociological perspectives into their scholarship. Despite the existence of a few doctoral programs that offer joint degrees, social scientists not affiliated with these programs often have a narrow understanding of how the methodologies of the disciplines can be combined. This session will address this knowledge gap by offering examples of intersection, in both doctoral education and scholarship, and present implications for social work research, policy and practice. This roundtable will be hosted by six scholars from different universities and at different career stages who share a common interest in cross-disciplinary research and practice. One participant shares her experiences as a recipient of a joint degree and as a faculty member of Wayne State University's joint social work and anthropology program along with two Wayne State University colleagues. They will offer perspectives on what type of training is valuable and what more is needed. The fourth participant, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, discusses his integration of social work and historical sociology, detailing his archival research on the disability rights movement of the 1970s and 1980s. The final participant is a relative newcomer to the integration of anthropology and social work. She reflects on the pathway that led her to explore cross-disciplinary methods and her decision to incorporate an anthropological lens and methodology into her current research on the intersection of AIDS and hemophilia. An additional discussant has had an extensive career in multi-disciplinary, cross-disciplinary and mixed-methods scholarship that combines theoretical perspectives and investigative approaches from history, law, public health and the social sciences. He will share his expertise as a cross-disciplinary scholar and his perspectives on mentoring multi-disciplinary students. The goals of this roundtable are to facilitate rich discussion around four key areas: 1) inclusion of anthropological and sociological methods of inquiry to compliment the current knowledge of social work practice, research, theory, and research methodologies 2) explore how social work faculty and administrators educate and mentor students interested in cross-disciplinary scholarship 3) consider research methods that join social work with other disciplines and 4) share examples of how these approaches have been realized.
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