Master of Social Work (MSW)
Utilizing autoethnography and thematic analysis, this thesis explores reflexivity and social work praxis. Specifically, it illuminates the phenomenon of reflexivity and its related themes; reflexivity’s multiple meanings, challenges and enabling factors, its link to internal processes, rationale for usage and timeliness of inquiry. The multiple ways that practitioners engage in reflexive inquiry was revealed through dyadic interviews. However, current literature does not reflect this and the breadth and scope of reflexive inquiry is lost within contemporary social work discourse. Therefore, this thesis puts forth multiple definitions of reflexivity, which broaden the scope of reflexive inquiry, contextualize its usage and highlight its indications. The first group of definitions, efficacious, exigent and entrenched reflexivity are defined in terms of four key components; the reflexivity’s focus and center, what the reflexivity seeks and the degree to which reflexivity is utilized as a tool of practice. These definitions shed light on the varying depths of reflexive inquiry. The next group of definitions, extant and revenant reflexivity can serve to highlight to the worker when an experience needs to be reflected upon. The final group of definitions, polycentric and monocentric reflexivity, identify the context in which reflexivity takes place, namely communally or in isolation. The impetus for disseminating these broadened definitions is my belief that their incorporation into contemporary social work discourse and utilization as a required tool of practice will further promote the integration and support of the dual existences of the professional and personal selves; that their procurement into practitioner pedagogy will lead to dedicated space within the practice setting that enables one to be an emotional being, complete with emotional realities while simultaneously coexisting as a social worker, complete with social work related realities. I believe this will result in increased efficiency and productivity to serve and care for our clients, as well as increased worker health and well-being, to serve and care for ourselves.
Applewhaite, Aisha V., "Conversations Over Coffee: Reflexivity and Social Work Praxis" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7570.
McMaster University Library