Revealing the hidden performances of social work practice: the ethnographic process of gaining access, getting into place and impression management

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Revealing the hidden performances of social work practice : the ethnographic process of gaining access, getting into place and impression management. / Leigh, Jadwiga; Disney, Tom; Warwick, Lisa; Ferguson, Harry; Beddoe, Liz; Cooner, Tarsem Singh.

In: Qualitative Social Work, 09.06.2020.

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@article{02da0827efdc47a2b8c36466391409cb,
title = "Revealing the hidden performances of social work practice: the ethnographic process of gaining access, getting into place and impression management",
abstract = "Whilst the empirical process of research highlights substantive findings, understanding the methodological approach in which access is gained and sustained on field sites is also an integral part of the data. Gaining access in ethnographic studies, in particular, is a complex task which requires researchers to continually negotiate systems and processes in order that they may reflect on the socially embedded practices of their chosen fields. However, once the researchers are accepted, the ethnographer then has to be aware of the effect their presence has on the field and that access is a continual process of negotiation and contestation. Based on a longitudinal study, which conducted a 15-month ethnography in two social work organizations, this article will explore the dilemmas various members of a research team experienced when trying to blend into the different sites. And then, once having achieved their desired position, the challenges they encountered when they realized that their presence was affecting the performances of their participants. We conclude by discussing the importance of reflexivity, power and ethics. Ethnographic research may be a more natural way for researchers to collect data, but it is also a method which positions researchers in situations, where they can easily influence encounters and, in effect, become part of the findings as well.",
keywords = "Ethnography, gaining access, Performativity, Dramaturgy, emotional labour, impression management, Goffman",
author = "Jadwiga Leigh and Tom Disney and Lisa Warwick and Harry Ferguson and Liz Beddoe and Cooner, {Tarsem Singh}",
year = "2020",
month = jun,
day = "9",
doi = "10.1177/1473325020929067",
language = "English",
journal = "Qualitative Social Work",
issn = "1473-3250",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Revealing the hidden performances of social work practice

T2 - the ethnographic process of gaining access, getting into place and impression management

AU - Leigh, Jadwiga

AU - Disney, Tom

AU - Warwick, Lisa

AU - Ferguson, Harry

AU - Beddoe, Liz

AU - Cooner, Tarsem Singh

PY - 2020/6/9

Y1 - 2020/6/9

N2 - Whilst the empirical process of research highlights substantive findings, understanding the methodological approach in which access is gained and sustained on field sites is also an integral part of the data. Gaining access in ethnographic studies, in particular, is a complex task which requires researchers to continually negotiate systems and processes in order that they may reflect on the socially embedded practices of their chosen fields. However, once the researchers are accepted, the ethnographer then has to be aware of the effect their presence has on the field and that access is a continual process of negotiation and contestation. Based on a longitudinal study, which conducted a 15-month ethnography in two social work organizations, this article will explore the dilemmas various members of a research team experienced when trying to blend into the different sites. And then, once having achieved their desired position, the challenges they encountered when they realized that their presence was affecting the performances of their participants. We conclude by discussing the importance of reflexivity, power and ethics. Ethnographic research may be a more natural way for researchers to collect data, but it is also a method which positions researchers in situations, where they can easily influence encounters and, in effect, become part of the findings as well.

AB - Whilst the empirical process of research highlights substantive findings, understanding the methodological approach in which access is gained and sustained on field sites is also an integral part of the data. Gaining access in ethnographic studies, in particular, is a complex task which requires researchers to continually negotiate systems and processes in order that they may reflect on the socially embedded practices of their chosen fields. However, once the researchers are accepted, the ethnographer then has to be aware of the effect their presence has on the field and that access is a continual process of negotiation and contestation. Based on a longitudinal study, which conducted a 15-month ethnography in two social work organizations, this article will explore the dilemmas various members of a research team experienced when trying to blend into the different sites. And then, once having achieved their desired position, the challenges they encountered when they realized that their presence was affecting the performances of their participants. We conclude by discussing the importance of reflexivity, power and ethics. Ethnographic research may be a more natural way for researchers to collect data, but it is also a method which positions researchers in situations, where they can easily influence encounters and, in effect, become part of the findings as well.

KW - Ethnography

KW - gaining access

KW - Performativity

KW - Dramaturgy

KW - emotional labour

KW - impression management

KW - Goffman

U2 - 10.1177/1473325020929067

DO - 10.1177/1473325020929067

M3 - Article

JO - Qualitative Social Work

JF - Qualitative Social Work

SN - 1473-3250

ER -