Geographers of small things: a study of the production of space in children's social work

Jeyasingham, Dharman John (2015). Geographers of small things: a study of the production of space in children's social work. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study explores children's social workers' experiences of and practices in space. It is based on ethnographic research with social workers in two sites and examines data from observations, interviews with social workers, photographs and other images of the spaces in which social workers practised.
The study draws on the work of Henri Lefebvre, concerned with how space is produced through spatial practices, conceptions of space and moments of lived space, which occur beyond these conventions and escape complete articulation. The study uses this analytical frame in order to explore how social workers produce certain kinds of spaces as significant in their practice. It identifies a small number of affect-heavy spaces which hold great importance for children's social work: social work offices, children's and practitioners' bodies, families' homes as they are experienced by practitioners during home visits, the wider neighbourhoods which social workers associate with service users. In particular, it identifies social workers' attention to small things and micro-scales in their practice. This enables social workers to present their work as sensitive to that which is imperceptible to others but also leads to a restricted focus and limited engagement with the social and political contexts of service users' lives.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Social Policy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


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