Rai, Lucy and Lillis, Theresa
A case study of a research-based collaboration around writing in social work.
Across the disciplines, 8(3)
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This paper discusses an ongoing research-based collaboration between an academic literacies researcher and a lecturer in the field of Social Work aimed at exploring the nature of everyday writing in social work. The paper outlines the key principles of the methodology adopted—a text-oriented ethnography—and discusses the extent to which this methodology is facilitating a collaborative partnership towards meeting three interrelated goals: the empirical goal of building rich descriptions of writing in everyday social work practice; the ideological-epistemological goal of challenging a deficit discourse on writing (and writers); and the interventionist goal of working with institutions to harness writing in productive ways to learning and professional practice. Central to this methodological approach is an attempt to build a three-way conversation between the fields of 'new' literacy studies, in particular academic literacies; the discipline of social work education; and social work agencies/practitioners. We outline the methodology and foreground some key congruencies across these fields which are helping to facilitate successful collaboration.
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