British Journal of Social Work
As an increasingly central focus of social work pedagogy, critical reflexivity can be distinguished from non-critical forms of reflexivity by its emphasis on the socially constructed, power-laden nature of knowledge and subjectivity, and its embracement of anxiety and other difficult emotions in social work practice. Given the in actu nature of its processes, however, critical reflexivity poses particular challenges as a teaching objective for social work educators. In order to assess the potential of arts-based media to engender critical forms of reflexivity in social work audiences, qualitative inquiry was conducted on social workers' experience of an arts-based video installation on self-determination in social work practice. Participants' reflections strongly supported the installation as a catalyst for processes of critical reflexivity, emphasising the ways it encouraged active reflection on issues of power, knowledge construction and subjectivity, as well as demanded a negotiation with difficult emotions such as anxiety and uncertainty. The arts-based features of the video installation were highlighted as those most productive of these processes of critical reflexivity - a finding with significant implications for social work pedagogy, supporting the call for greater inclusion of arts-based media in social work education.
arts, Critical reflexivity, knowledge, power, social work education, subjectivity
© 2012 © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.
Trevelyan, Christopher; Crath, Rory; and Chambon, Adrienne, "Promoting Critical Reflexivity Through Arts-Based Media: A Case Study" (2014). School for Social Work: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
Archived as published. Open access article.