|Author(s)||Maureen T. Matarese|
|Title||Discursive Mindfulness Among Practitioners Analyzing Social Work Communication|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Social work, Interactional linguistics, Discourse, Responsibility|
|Book title||Language Research in Multilingual Settings|
Applied linguistics has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with education and health. Developing a similar relationship with social work, however, has been difficult, making social work interaction research dissemination challenging. This chapter describes feedback from a small class of social work master’s students I guest taught on the topic of using discourse analysis in social work. This lecture included examples from a previously published article, which the students also read in preparation for the class. This research conducted was an interactional ethnography examining social worker-homeless client discourse over time in an urban, U.S. setting. Findings were drawn from trends observed across the data set of 18 clients with their 6 caseworkers. Based on those observations, the article described how responsibility was constructed in these interactions over time. The findings from student feedback revealed that students needed the most support in learning discourse analysis, and made dissemination of more explicit results difficult. While discourse may be integrated into social work process recordings, which would prepare workers for using discourse in their jobs, I argue that discursive mindfulness is perhaps the approach that helps workers with awareness without additional work strains.