Examining inclusion in social work interactions: Contributions of conversation analysis

Eve Mullins, Jon Symonds, Clara Iversen, Marie Flinkfeldt, Sabine Ellung Jørgensen, David Wilkins, Steve Kirkwood

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalAbstractResearchpeer-review


This interactive workshop will provide participants with an experience of analysing social work interactions in detail drawing on Conversation Analysis (CA). CA has existed on the margins of social work research; however, a recent review shows the invaluable contribution CA can offer to understanding social work interaction (Flinkfeldt et al, forthcoming). Understanding how engagement is managed and achieved in social work interactions is key to understanding how interventions can promote or counter social inclusion. Using CA, we can track the moments in talk where engagement and participation is facilitated or hindered, for example, examining how practitioners build trust with parents, or how managers listen
effectively to social workers’ concerns.
This methodological approach is particularly well suited to knowledge exchange with professionals and clients. Because it focuses on actual instances of interaction, it inherently has strong relevance to participants’ practices and experiences. CA allows for a collaborative approach to analysis, where, with coaching, participants can interrogate and understand interactional practices in their own field. This workshop will firstly demonstrate the promising links between CA and social work by summarizing findings from the aforementioned review of conversation analytic research in social work. The second, and main, part will involve workshop participants doing hands on turn-by-turn analysis of diverse examples of recorded social work interactions to gain a better understanding of the discursive tools used by clients, practitioners, or managers to achieve social inclusion in social work. Finally, we will discuss the contributions, prospects and challenges of CA research in social work
Original languageEnglish
Publication date8 Apr 2022
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2022
EventECSWR 2022: 11th European Conference for Social Work Research - Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Apr 20228 Apr 2022
Conference number: 11


ConferenceECSWR 2022
LocationAmsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Internet address


  • social work and social conditions


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