Session: Research As Transformative Praxis at the Annual SSWR Conference (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

All live presentations are in Eastern time zone.

76 Research As Transformative Praxis at the Annual SSWR Conference

Wednesday, January 20, 2021: 5:15 PM-6:15 PM
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement
M. Candace Christensen, PhD, University of Texas at San Antonio, Quenette Walton, PhD, University of Houston, Sherri Simmons-Horton, PhD, University of Texas at San Antonio, Emily Claypool, A.M., University of Chicago and Rachel L. Kaplan, PhD, University of California, San Francisco
For decades critical social work scholars have been advocating for approaches to social work science that are grounded in social justice and anti-oppressive/emancipatory practices (Wahab et al., 2018; Grey et al., 2016; Webb, 2019). These scholars have argued that this work aligns with social work values and has the potential to transform oppressive social conditions. For example, what would it look like for social work scholars to use methodologies and methods that consider the inherent dignity and worth of the individual, the importance of human relationships, and the centrality of social justice (Wahab et al., 2018)? How would we translate research processes and findings to benefit the communities with whom we work (Webb, 2019)? Finally, how would we engage in social work science that decolonizes the supremacy of European, patriarchal, capitalist ways of generating knowledge (Grey et al., 2016)?

The purpose of this roundtable discussion (RD) is to deliberate on how we can advocate for creating a space at SSWR that considers the role of social work knowledge production as transformative praxis. We are approaching this discussion from a critical paradigm which assumes that reality is shaped by social, political, economic, and cultural forces. These forces impact how we perceive and experience social identities and positionalities (race/class/gender) (Hicks & Jeyasingham, 2016; Kemp & Samuels, 2019; Mehrotra, 2010; Walters et al., 2020). This paradigm involves using dialogue to question who benefits and who is marginalized within socio-political, cultural systems (e.g., SSWR, universities, funding agencies) and moves people towards developing a plan of action for centering groups situated on the margins (hooks, 1984). Objectives for this RD are to: (1) Describe the socio-political-economic culture within and outside of SSWR that facilitates or creates barriers to centering research as transformative praxis; (2) Discuss arguments for centering marginalized ways of knowing at SSWR; (3) Identify objectives to use as part of a strategic plan for this advocacy.

This RD will be led by five panelists who are at various career stages, from Ph.D. students to tenured faculty. Our first panelist uses ethnographic methods to study social work knowledge translation and implementation science with a focus on community mental health and case management interventions. The second panelist uses phenomenology to amplify participant voices of children, youth, and families of color involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The next panelist uses grounded theory methods to examine social class as a social determinant of health and mental health disparities among middle-class Black women at the intersection of their social identities. Our fourth panelist uses Constructivist Grounded Theory (Charmaz, 2006) for centering the lived experiences of marginalized populations to address public health disparities from a social justice perspective. The final panelist uses feminist methodologies to understand and prevent power-based violence. The agenda will include a brief overview of each panelists' relationship to the RD topic. Afterward, the panelists will engage the attendees in a discussion focused on the objectives presented above.

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