Engaging service users in practice research

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This chapter discusses the understanding of power and importance of the engagement of service users in practice research and the challenges that are inherent in this model. It briefly addresses the role of service users in a social work context and the challenges of engaging such service users taking the Danish welfare model. The chapter discusses the complexity of engaging service users in practice research and how this might contribute to changes in power relations. The interactions between service users and practitioners are only asymmetric by virtue of the different positions that these participants occupy in the domain of practice research. Power is connected to knowledge, truth and expertise. Practice research makes it possible to construct a platform for resistance to contribute to power dynamics. However, experience from research in practice indicates that service-user engagement contains a substantial degree of complexity in the area of practice research as it relates to social work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Social Work Practice Research
EditorsLynette Joubert, Martin Webber
Place of PublicationRoutledge
Publication date24 Apr 2020
ISBN (Print)9780367189525
ISBN (Electronic)9780429199486
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2020
SeriesRoutledge International Handbooks


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