Dimensions of creativity in generalist social work practice : constructions and retiring practitioners

Turner, Linda (2002) Dimensions of creativity in generalist social work practice : constructions and retiring practitioners. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Creativity is often proclaimed as a valuable and central element of social work practice, and social workers are regularly urged to incorporate creativity into their work, however little research describing creative social work practice exists. The purpose of this study is to contribute to a broader conceptualization of creativity in social work by examining how experienced generalist social work practitioners construct creativity in social work practice. Thirty retiring practitioners were interviewed using grounded theory methodology from a constructivist perspective. The study was conducted bilingually, in French and English. -- The practitioners' constructions of creativity in social work practice led to the following definition: Creativity in social work practice occurs when a social worker intentionally envisages beyond the presumed levels of good practice required in their roles and functions, and accepts a challenge which often leads him or her to utilize uncommon, unfamiliar, or previously unconsidered means to pursue greater social justice and heightened empowerment. -- Analysis of the data also led to the development of five dimensions which can facilitate incorporating greater creativity into social work practice. The dimensions are presented through the metaphor of fire-making, and include: 1. The significance of the practitioner as an individual; 2. Foundations for practicing social work creatively; 3. The social and political environment; 4. The need for an assertive commitment to practicing creatively; and 5. The need for ongoing sharing of examples of forms of creative practice. -- The retiring social work practitioners shared numerous examples of creativity in social work practice from their experience. They identified the profession's need for greater creativity in the education and development of social workers, in speaking out and taking risks, in bringing about changes in bureaucracies, and in bringing about an increase in advocacy and radicalism.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1243
Item ID: 1243
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 157-169.
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: 2002
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Social workers; Social service--Vocational guidance; Creative ability

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