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Knowledge, Contribution and Social factors: A qualitative study about psychiatric social work in Goa, India
Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Social Sciences.
Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Social Sciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Social work is one of the core mental health professions. With a dominance of a biological model in psychiatry, the scope of social factors has been relatively marginal. Social factors have been argued to be social work ́s area of expertise. Psychiatric social work is challenged to articulate its unique knowledge and valuable contribution to the field of mental health care since they are coexisting with other more well-established professions. This qualitative study explores how psychiatric social workers and psychiatrists in Goa, India, perceive social work's unique knowledge and its contribution to the field of mental health care. It further explores psychiatric social workers understanding of social factors in relation to mental illness. The empirical material was collected through twelve semi-structured interviews with ten psychiatric social workers and two psychiatrists working in different mental health care settings in Goa.

The results show that the main psychiatric social work contributions were described as raising awareness about mental illness and their functioning as a bridge between units. The result further shows a difficulty (among psychiatric social workers) to articulate psychiatric social work's unique knowledge, but during the interviews a specific in-depth knowledge emerged as well as a focus on psychiatric knowledge. Our findings showed that psychiatric social workers understood social factors in terms of social relations. The results are analyzed with Foucault's theory of discourse, Polanyi's theory of tacit knowledge and Ingleheart’s modernization theory. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 69 p.
Keyword [en]
Psychiatric social work, Mental illness in India, Mental illness in Goa, Social factors, Contribution, Knowledge
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-2252OAI: diva2:631222
Educational program
Socionomprogrammet, inriktning mot etik och livsåskådning
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-06-20 Created: 2013-06-20 Last updated: 2016-01-19Bibliographically approved

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