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Dimensions and perspectives of quality in integration work
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Social Pedagogy and Sociology. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9792-7608
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Social Pedagogy and Sociology. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1908-4940
2016 (English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Social work organizations are faced with rapid changes that increase demands on quality and quality assessment. Before deciding how to assess quality, it is necessary to define what quality means with regard to a specific activity.Defining what is meant by quality is especially important before assessing the quality of integration activities developed for new immigrants. To address these issues, this study focuses on the concept of quality with respect to the efforts made to support immigrant integration in Sweden, through an activity called civic orientation. The data consist of interviews, observations, and video recordings of personnel working in an integration office. The results show how quality is manifested: firstly, in organizational structures for supporting and developing practitioners' knowledge; secondly, in standardized methods and material, and thirdly, in recognizing and attending to individual differences andthe sense of cultural belonging in daily interactions. One conclusion is that the knowledge of the integration workers – seeing and understanding the heterogeneity of immigrants' cultural backgrounds and bridging boundaries – isvital to the quality of civic orientation. That knowledge is central to the future organization of integration work, but could become invisible with a one-sided emphasis on standardization in quality work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
Quality, Integration work, Civic orientation, Cultural brokers, Standardization, Professional knowledge
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Pedagogics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-9809OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-9809DiVA: diva2:955751
Note

Ingår i avhandling

Available from: 2016-08-26 Created: 2016-08-26 Last updated: 2016-08-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Knowing at work: A study of professional knowledge in integration work directed to newly arrived immigrants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Knowing at work: A study of professional knowledge in integration work directed to newly arrived immigrants
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Currently, new knowledge domains and professions emerge as a consequence of societal changes that transform that conditions for work and work integrated learning. Integration work directed to newly arrived immigrants is one example of such a new professional knowledge domain. In civic orientation, which is the empirical case in this study, quality, standardization and dialogue are explicit strategies that impact the planning, organization and decision-making in everyday work. The interest in this thesis concerns the professional knowledge that is developed in activities aiming to provide heterogeneous groups of immigrants an orientation in the Swedish society. By making activity systems the prime unit ofanalysis and scrutinizing the ways in which integration workers make use of a stipulated course material and interactions in a specific context, the aim is to contribute to the understanding of the pedagogical and communicative knowledge that is developed in practice. The analytical approach takes its point of departure in a socio-cultural perspective on workplace studies. Three separate studies have been carried out in which the empirical data consist of observations,interviews, video recordings, field notes and documents from various integration offices.The results show that different perspectives on knowledge and culture becomes relevant in local discourses on quality in integration work. What distinguishes the integration workers professional knowledge concern seeing and understanding the heterogeneity of immigrants' cultural backgrounds and bridging boundaries.Culture function as an organizing element in work that makes it possible to make distinctions and organize a contextually relevant content that can be elaborated together with the members in the groups. Such work imply transformation of procedures and it is shown that the integration workers develop their knowledge from specific situations to understand the significance of textually mediate dimeanings in other situations. Knowledge is developed as the integration workers move between different situations and activities. It is concluded that the meaning-making involved in bridging between different cultural contexts relies on extensive knowledge in and about the recognition of the other and of interactions based on equal grounds. Negotiating agreements with the members of the groups about how common possibilities and responsibilities can be understood is central for respecting heterogeneity in the process and is at the core of the integration workers professional knowledge. Considering the future development of integration work, cumulative structures are needed that recognize and support the development of the integration workers professional knowledge within as well as between organizations and other related fields of practice and in relation to higher education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West, 2016. 118 p.
Series
PhD Thesis: University West, 9
Keyword
Professional knowledge, integration work, civic orientation, work integrated learning, meaning-making, standardization, quality, cultural brokers
National Category
Pedagogy Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-9808 (URN)978-91-87531-34-7 (ISBN)978-91-87531-35-4 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2016-09-23, C118-120, Trollhättan, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-09-07 Created: 2016-08-26 Last updated: 2016-09-08Bibliographically approved

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