Journal Article

How Does Critical Reflection Develop Possibilities for Emancipatory Change? An Example from an Empirical Research Project

Christine Morley

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 42, issue 8, pages 1513-1532
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online November 2011 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr153
How Does Critical Reflection Develop Possibilities for Emancipatory Change? An Example from an Empirical Research Project

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This paper provides a practice-based research example of how critical reflection developed possibilities for emancipatory change. Specifically, it traces the experiential process of one practitioner who participated in a recent research project. This original research tested the possibilities for critical reflection to produce change in practitioners engaged in supporting victims/survivors of sexual assault in the context of the Australian criminal justice system. The paper contributes to addressing a gap that has been identified in the literature concerning a lack of empirical evidence to support the claims made about critical reflection by its proponents. The paper provides an empirical example of the deconstruction and reconstruction processes involved in the research that enabled this practitioner to overcome her initial sense of fatalism and powerlessness, to instead envision new ways to engage with adversity and creative strategies to work towards emancipatory change and social justice within a micro-practice context.

Keywords: Critical reflection; critical practice; practitioner research

Journal Article.  7638 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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