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Standardiserad interaktion - en utmaning i socialt arbete

  • Elizabeth Martinell Barfoed
Publiceringsår: 2014
Språk: Svenska
Sidor: 4-23
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift
Volym: 21
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Forsa

Abstract english

Standardized assessment instruments have been introduced in social work with the aim of measuring outcome effects and raising quality. One example, the ASI (Addiction Severity Index), is a standardi- zed questionnaire which can be regarded as a success story in Sweden and around the globe. The questionnaire, originally created by quantitative researchers and focusing on Vietnam Veterans in volun- tary care in the USA, is now widely used in Swedish social work. A different target group is identified (clients in need of social services) and different users (social workers). The results show that the pre- fabricated questions in the questionnaire restrict the institutional interaction. In social work the narrative is important. Standardized instruments change the status of the narrative and the interac- tion becomes digitized. Inspired by eth-

nomethodology and discourse analysis, the study shows that clients applying for welfare benefits or subject to pre-trial investigation at the probation office are expected to participate. The standardized interaction has special characteristics: The conversation is highly reduced to yes-no answers, leaving little or almost no space for narratives. The questionnaire changes the professional conversation and leaves the professional and the client in a new interactional situation.

In a profession where discretion has been highly valued and the professional conversation to a large extent has been shaped situationally, standardized inte- raction challenges the professional-client relationship. In the article certain techni- ques for handling the questionnaire are discerned.


  • Social Work
  • Social sciences
  • Socialt arbete


  • Kriminal- och socialvetenskapligt nätverk-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 1104-1420
Elizabeth Martinell Barfoed. Foto: Patrik Hekkala
E-post: elizabeth [dot] martinell_barfoed [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se



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