Narrative Social Work: key concepts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides a theoretical map of narrative approaches by drawing on critical theories. Critical social work practice is influenced by a wide range of critical perspectives including feminism, racism, anti-oppressive practice and post-structuralism. Developing a ‘language critique’ in social work is important because language carries considerable power in the constitution and reproduction of our everyday lives. Social workers who wish to adopt narrative methods will need to consider how they can avoid being seen as lacking political and social awareness if they ignore the politics of narratives and the extent to which they support or contest social structures and practices. In social work, the narrative practitioner works with the narrative through artful conversations and analyzes what the narrative is and represents. Ideologies will characterize the way that certain discourses become accepted over others in social work such as ‘stress’ and ‘at risk’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handover of Social Work Theory
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315211053
ISBN (Print)9780367783846
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019


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