Social Work Research Techniques, Testimonies, and Analysis: A Narrative-Biographical Approach

  • Gabriela Rubilar Universidad Católica de Chile
Keywords: narrative-biographical interviews, social work, face-to-face interactions, autobiographical account, self-reflection, research techniques, professional training


From the beginning of professional training in social work, qualitative approaches to research have been represented in the curriculum, as they are an important element of the methodological repertoire. In this article, I argue that the instruments and techniques which traditionally have been used for professional social interventions mirror a number of qualitative research perspectives. This is especially true for those types of research which prompt extensive, continuous narratives and discourses initiated by a single research question. Research that yields continuous narratives has presented an analysis of the different professional repertoires used in social interventions and emphasizes approaches and perspectives that begin with questions such as: "Why are you coming?";  "What do you need?"; or, "Just tell me." These questions provide social workers with the opportunity to immerse themselves in individuals' autobiographical tales.

In the following, I specifically analyze professional repertoires related to social assistance and interventions. This is done by interpreting the configurative elements and the interventions used by this approach. Emphasis is placed on the process dynamics between different participants simultaneously as I discuss the scope for this type of approach, which encourages a face-to-face interaction between the researcher and the individual.



Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Gabriela Rubilar, Universidad Católica de Chile
Trabajadora social de profesión, inicialmente con una trayectoria profesional en políticas sociales e integración social, para posteriormente desarrollar un quehacer orientado a la articulacion investigacion-intervencion, con especial énfasis en la formación y práctica investigadora de los trabajadores sociales chilenos. Con especialización en políticas públicas y recientes estudios de doctorado en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid en la línea de trabajo impulsada por el profesor Miguel Valles, quien dirige el tesis doctoral que se pregunta por el modo cómo hacen investigación los trabajadores sociales Métodos de investigación: enfoque biografico-interpretativo Departamento: Escuela de Trabajo Social, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Puesto: académica-investigadora
How to Cite
Rubilar, G. (2013). Social Work Research Techniques, Testimonies, and Analysis: A Narrative-Biographical Approach. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 14(2).
Single Contributions