Journal Article

Narrative and Rhetoric in Social Work Education

Kris Rutten, André Mottart and Ronald Soetaert

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 2, pages 480-495
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Narrative and Rhetoric in Social Work Education

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This article starts from the narrative turn in the humanities and the social sciences in general and social work in particular to explore the study of fictional narratives in social work education. Rhetoric is presented as an important perspective for social work by focusing on the work of the rhetorician and literary critic Kenneth Burke (1897–1993), specifically on his theory of dramatism. The dramatistic pentad is introduced as an analytical tool to study fictional narratives. In a case study, a play and a film by a Dutch–Flemish theatre collective are jointly analysed by students from the Master of Social Work and Welfare Studies programme at a Flemish university. This rhetorical perspective gives social work students the opportunity not only to study fictional narratives, but also to reflect upon their own practice.

Keywords: narrative; social constructionism; social work education

Journal Article.  6471 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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