Writing in professional social work practice in a changing communicative landscape (WISP)
Little empirical research has been carried out to date on the writing demands and practices of everyday social work and their changing nature given the range of technologies being used. The WiSP study seeks to address this gap in the existing knowledge base by answering the following interrelated questions: what are the institutional writing demands of contemporary social work? what are the writing practices of professional social workers? how are the how are writing demands and practices shaping the nature of professional social work?
To answer these questions, the project is working with five local authorities in the UK, exploring the range of written texts required and the writing practices of social workers. It uses an integrated language methodology, including ethnographic description, discourse analysis using corpus software and the detailed tracking of the production of texts, in order to: map the types of writing that are required and carried out during the course of everyday practice; quantify the amount of writing that is being done and explore how writing is being managed alongside other commitments; identify the technologies mediating specific writing practices and the extent to which these enable or constrain effective writing and communication; track the trajectories of texts relating to specific cases; identify the writing challenges that social workers face, the problems identified and solutions adopted.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 2017
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