Only connect: unifying the social in social work and social media

Turner, Denise (2016) Only connect: unifying the social in social work and social media. Journal of Social Work Practice, 30 (3). pp. 313-327. ISSN 0265-0533

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This paper utilises ‘Only Connect’, the epigraph from Forster’s novel ‘Howards End’ as the starting point for exploring the challenges and opportunities of integrating social networking with relationship based social work practice. The paper discusses the more deleterious implications of social networking, whilst assuming a deliberately optimistic stance to uncover ways in which the opportunities afforded by online space can be utilised effectively within social work education and practice. Whilst recognising that social networking platforms are transforming constantly, the paper adopts Kaplan’s definition of social media as a ‘group of internet based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0’. Whilst much of the discussion within the paper relates to Twitter and Facebook, two of the most endemic international social networking platforms, it is also applicable to myriad forms of social networking. The paper begins with a discussion of UK professional conduct cases and explores these both within Klein’s concept of splitting and historical attitudes to new technologies. Drawing from emerging research data and other examples, the positive relational practices educed by social media within social work education and practice are emphasised and discussed. The paper concludes by highlighting Forster’s plea for connection and recommending that social work embraces the renewed opportunities provided by online networking.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2016 11:22
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2017 02:00

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