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Reflections on Empathy in Social Work Practice: A qualitative study among Swedish social workers
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to investigate what empathy means to Swedish social workers and to discover in which ways empathy may be used within social work practice in Sweden. The phenomenon of empathy has already been investigated in several areas such as; social science, psychology and neuroscience and it remains as a growing subject in academic research. In this study, the subject of empathy was investigated within the context of Swedish social work practice. A qualitative study was conducted by using the methodology of a phenomenological approach. The research questions were formed to obtain substantial information about the description of empathy, as well as to discover how empathy has been used by a sample of Swedish social workers when working with people from vulnerable groups. The chosen theory in this study was symbolic interactionism and it was employed in the analysis along with different previous research. The results in this study indicated that the respondents found it important to show empathy towards the clients as a part of being a professional social worker. Empathy still appeared to be a contextually dependent phenomenon and the positive outcomes of showing empathy may be affected negatively due to distressful factors. 

 

Key words: social work, empathy, symbolic interactionism

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
social work, empathy, symbolic interactionism
Keyword [sv]
socialt arbete, empati, symbolisk interaktionism
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-17276Archive number: SGSMKINSA-V14-10OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-17276DiVA: diva2:733643
Subject / course
Social work
Educational program
Social work – specialisation in international social work (in eng)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2014-07-11 Created: 2014-07-10 Last updated: 2014-07-11Bibliographically approved

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Department of Social Work and Psychology
Social Work

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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