It will aim to be one of possibly the central contemporary international text in this field for social work researchers, bringing together in one volume the developments and debates that have been seen in recent years in peer reviewed journals, including the Sage journal Qualitative Social Work (founded and co-edited by one of us).
This chapter explores the relationship between social work research and social justice. It begins with a discussion of standpoints and notes the internationally agreed social work aim of promoting social justice. The chapter then introduces a number of qualitative research designs and methods particularly associated with social justice. These are participatory research designs, focus groups, deliberative methods, visual methods and other arts-based research, including ethnodrama. The chapter concludes with two points: the differences that may be introduced when the recipients of services become engaged in research and the importance of researching ‘up’ to fully understand power relations.
Debates about social justice and the positions that people may take in relation to it, such as feminist, Marxist, anti-racist, postmodern and emancipatory, are ...