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Qualitative Social Work

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Social Work education, Pedagogy


The convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and social/political protest concerning structural anti-Black racism marks a moment for deep reflection and revision of many taken-for-granted assumptions about our research and academic lives as social work scholars. In this reflexive essay we, as two non-Black qualitative social work scholars, explore some of the questions and considerations for social work research that have surfaced since the emergence of these complex social, political, and economic crises. We organize our reflection around what we study, why, and how we go about studying it. We then offer a discussion of various constraints and challenges that emerge in this type of reflective scholarly practice, including an analysis of how contexts of white supremacy culture and neoliberalism shape social work scholarship. We close the essay with a number of recommendations for further reflection for social work scholars, such as reviewing research practices, seeking external research funding, practicing reflexivity, interrogating assumptions about knowledge production, self and community care, and integrating scholarly work into social work curriculum.


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