Abstract When cultural and ethnic diversity in Northern societies have increased via for example a growing number of asylum seekers and immigrants, the need to improve professional methods to support social integration processes and cultural encounters has increased. This need is closely linked to social work practice and research, increasingly taking place at the intersections of different cultures, ethnicities and nationalities. In developing new approaches for intercultural encounters, social workers are often encouraged to embrace culturally competent and sensitive working methods (Jönsson, 2013; Nadan, 2017). However, those approaches are criticised to be simplifying as they highlight the meaning of culture and tend to ignore intersecting and multiple power structures and diverse social identities in integration processes. This, in turn, can create stereotyping and otherness of ethnic and cultural minorities (Jönsson, 2013) and result in integration processes being defined by dominant discourses and from privileged positions. This presentation addresses the processes of widening the professional scope from cultural sensitivity to critically examine and deconstruct intersecting – such as racialised and feminised – power structures via arts-based methods in social work research. Empirically, the study builds on the participatory theatre project, ‘My Stage’, with women of immigrant backgrounds in Northern Finland (Hiltunen et al., 2018). Through ethnographic research methods (as participatory observation and reflective research discussions) and analysis of the social work researcher, the study brings forth approaches on how arts-based methods in social work research can create space and tools for emotional sensitivity, sensitivity to understand otherness and to recognise and renegotiate privileges, which can challenge cultural otherisation and parallelly function as decolonising research.
27 helmikuuta 2020
Development Days 2020 Conference: In Search of Novel Perspectives on an Enduring Problem