Dialogen i socialt arbete : en studie av socialbyråsamtal i ljuset av modern dialogteori

Sammanfattning: This dissertation concerns the dialogical encounters that take place between social workcr and client within the social services. The empirical material consists of 21 dialogues, 19 of which wcre recorded at two social welfare offices, one located in the center of Stockholm and the other in a suburb, and two which were recorded at the youth counseling office. In all, the material comprises 5150 individual utterances. In the literature, the type of dialogical cncounters studicd is called "institutional discourse".The theoretical approach in the analysis is based on an interactionist perspective, particularly with respect to dialogical analysis of verbal encounters. The aim of thc study is to analyse the dialogue between social worker and client from three points of de parture: participallt structure, topic, and inherent perspectives.In studying the discourse, the ini tiative-response (IR-) method of analysis was applied. The IR-method focuses on the dynamics of the dialogue, its pattern of dominance and its coherence. The results show that the social worker was interactively dominant in about two-thirds of the dialogues studied, but this dominance was most forcefully evident with respect to soliciting inititatives. With respect to content, the study concerns how the topical structure of the dialogue is constructed, i.e. which topics are taken up in the discourse and which of the parties steers the transition between topics. In the case of transitions to a topic defined as the main issue of the dialogue, it was the social worker who, in four-fifths of the cases, strategically steered the course of the dialogue. The perspective analysis undertaken in the study is concerned with investigating how different topics are treated in the dialogues, i.e. which of the parties "establishes" the perspectives and which "submits" to them . This analysis, made on a selection of seven of the 21 dialogical encounters, shows that it was the social worker who, in about two-thirds of thc cases, established by means of various interactive moves a bureaucratic or social welfare perspective on thc main topic sequences. Lastly, discursive dominance and power are discussed in the light of the prececling analyses.