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Reflecting upon child protection – the professional doctorate journey

Reflecting upon child protection – the professional doctorate journey Purpose – This paper draws on a recently completed professional doctorate thesis. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the research process mirrors the area being researched, and underscores the importance of the ability to tolerate ambiguity, in both the research process and in working to protect children. Design/methodology/approach – The doctorate used a constructivist grounded theory approach, and drew on 22 in‐depth interviews with social workers and a sample of 20 serious case reviews. Central to the research process were issues of reflexivity and positionality, which were both crucial to the area under exploration. Findings – Central to the thesis on which this paper draws, and the professional doctorate is the notion of balance. Social workers and researchers have to negotiate both getting close to and achieving distance from, the subject of enquiry. Seeking and maintaining balance requires managing a number of dimensions, and the negotiation of ambiguity. Originality/value – This paper explores the complexity of “working the hyphen” of insider‐outsider research, and argues that, as in child protection practice, insider‐outsider research requires the adoption of strategies to both get close to, and achieve distance from, the subject of enquiry. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning Emerald Publishing

Reflecting upon child protection – the professional doctorate journey

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2042-3896
DOI
10.1108/HESWBL-10-2013-0016
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper draws on a recently completed professional doctorate thesis. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the research process mirrors the area being researched, and underscores the importance of the ability to tolerate ambiguity, in both the research process and in working to protect children. Design/methodology/approach – The doctorate used a constructivist grounded theory approach, and drew on 22 in‐depth interviews with social workers and a sample of 20 serious case reviews. Central to the research process were issues of reflexivity and positionality, which were both crucial to the area under exploration. Findings – Central to the thesis on which this paper draws, and the professional doctorate is the notion of balance. Social workers and researchers have to negotiate both getting close to and achieving distance from, the subject of enquiry. Seeking and maintaining balance requires managing a number of dimensions, and the negotiation of ambiguity. Originality/value – This paper explores the complexity of “working the hyphen” of insider‐outsider research, and argues that, as in child protection practice, insider‐outsider research requires the adoption of strategies to both get close to, and achieve distance from, the subject of enquiry.

Journal

Higher Education, Skills and Work-based LearningEmerald Publishing

Published: May 13, 2014

Keywords: Professional identity; Balance; Professional doctorate; Child protection

References