Author: Hefin Gwilym, Bangor University

Day Two – Wednesday 26th June

Strand – Health & Well Being and Social Care

Session Four: 9.30am – 11am

This paper examines the biographies of social workers who have a political identity. The political identity of social workers is a social construct grounded in the detail of the lived experiences of participant’s personal, social and professional lives.

The concept includes being politically active, having a political role, conventional political involvement such as being a member of a political party, and an elected representative at local or national level. There is a dearth of published qualitative research in the area of social work biographies in general, unlike other professions such as nursing and education. Qualitative research on the biographies of social workers who have a political identity is even rarer.

This paper examines the current biographical literature in social work and explains the research design deployed for this study. The research methodology is an innovative combination of constructivist grounded theory and biographical interviewing. The research methodology is located within the wider conceptual framework of social constructivism. The paper presents the latest findings in a research project that remains ongoing as part of a PhD in the Research Institute of Social Sciences at Keele University.

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