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ERIC Number: EJ1081186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
Making a Case for Client Insistence in Social Work Interaction
Matarese, Maureen T.; van Nijnatten, Carolus
Discourse Processes: A multidisciplinary journal, v52 n8 p670-688 2015
It has been argued that the goals of the institution can shape the talk therein. What happens when a client consistently invokes topics and role identities that are outside the parameters of the institution, insisting on his or her own goals and gaining and maintaining a control of the floor usually expected of practitioners? Client power is often characterized as resistance to the practitioner or the institution. However, we argue that at times client power should viewed rather as "client insistence." This article seeks to describe client insistence in its own right by analyzing several caseworker-client interactions within a single client case. Using a combination of discourse analysis and ethnographic methods, we examine the features of insistence in caseworker-client interaction, including client topic initiation and control, preference structure, and affiliation. We also describe features of the discourse more broadly, such as the content of the talk and the role-identity categories generated through talk. In so doing, we describe some features of client insistence, heretofore unexamined in these terms; propose a new way to talk about client power in institutional talk; and explain what functions such actions may have in social work interaction. We argue that the client uses insistence to develop a courageous lifestyle that seeks an authentic self-attitude by taking control of the interaction and asserting his role as a father and as an autonomous individual over his role as a homeless client at the shelter.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A