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The Marginal Social Worker: Exploring how Namibian social work students perceive and implement knowledge from a study exchange in Sweden.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study explores how social work approaches and methods developed and practiced in one context can be interpreted, transferred and implemented in another. Additionally it focuses on how cultures and societies are organised both in individualistic and collectivistic societies and its effects on different approaches and conditions for social work. The data was collected from Namibian social work students that have participated in the Linnaeus Palme exchange program, which is an ongoing cooperation between the Swedish University West and University of Namibia. The results show that what the Namibian students foremost learn during their exchange studies in Sweden has to do with client interaction, critical thinking and dimensions of increased self-awareness. The assimilation of knowledge and possibilities to transfer and implement what they have learned in Sweden in a Namibian social work context is understood with the help of the theoretical concepts of the marginal man and transferability of knowledge. Shaped by the Namibian hybrid society, where the respondents are part of an ongoing negotiation between different antipoles and mediation between various cultural contexts, I argue that they are marginal social workers. Through their marginal experience they are in possession of qualities that are crucial in their process of transferability of knowledge and further create conditions for implementing new knowledge in the Namibian work practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 67 p.
Keyword [en]
Social work, exchange studies, Namibia, Sweden, collectivism, individualism, transferability of knowledge, the marginal man, the marginal social worker
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-31740OAI: diva2:691786
Subject / course
Social Work
Educational program
Magisterprogram i socialt arbete, 60 hp
Available from: 2014-02-14 Created: 2014-01-28 Last updated: 2014-02-14Bibliographically approved

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