EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence. Human service work is performed in many places – hospitals, shelters, households, prisons, schools, clinics – and is characterised by a complex mixture of organising principles, relations and rules. Using ethnographic methods, researchers can investigate these site-specific complexities, providing multi-dimensional and compelling analyses.
Bringing together both theoretical and practical material, this book shows researchers how ethnography can be carried out within human service settings. It provides an invaluable guide on how to apply ethnographic creativeness and offers a more humanistic and context-sensitive approach in the field of health and social care to generating valid knowledge about today’s service work.
“In this time of pandemics and apparently faceless global corporations, human service work is fundamentally important to all our lives. In this fascinating volume, two leading experts in the field bring together an array of insightful accounts of how service encounters work in the field. An essential book for anybody wanting to engage with the ethnographic realities of practitioner-client interaction.” David Silverman, Goldsmiths, University of London
"Thorough, detailed, theoretically sophisticated and timely, with an impressive range. An essential resource for researchers and practitioners at all career levels concerned with lived experience and organisational practice in human services." Dana Rosenfeld, University of Westminster
Katarina Jacobsson is Professor of Social Work at Lund University in Sweden.
Jaber F. Gubrium is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Missouri in the US.
Part One: Capturing Professional Relevance
Shadowing Care Workers When They’re “Doing Nothing” ~ Doris Lydahl
Two Worlds of Professional Relevance in a Small Village ~ Christal Avendal
Capturing the Organization of Emotions in Child Welfare Decision-Making ~ Tea Torbenfeldt Bengtsson
Part Two: Grasping Empirical Complexity
Sensitizing Concepts in Studies of Homelessness and Disability ~ Nanna Mik-Meyer
Grasping the Social Life of Documents in Human Service Practice ~ Emilie Morwenna Whitaker
Debating Dementia Care Logics ~ Cintia Engel, Janaina Aredes & Annette Leibing
Part Three: Challenges Of Multi-Sitedness
Social Worlds of Person-Centered, Multi-Sited Ethnography ~ Aleksandra Bartoszko
“Facting” in a Case of Concealed Pregnancy ~ Lucy Sheehan
Ethnographic Challenges of Fragmented Human Services ~ Tarja Pösö
PART Four: Noticings From Ethnographic Distance
Ethnographic Discovery after Fieldwork on Troubled Youth ~ Malin Ǻkerström & David Wästerfors
Looking Beyond the Police-as-Control Narrative ~ David Sausdal
Embracing Lessons from Ethnography in Non-Western Prison ~ Andrew M. Jefferson