Collaborative autoethnography and social work




autoethnography, social work, collaborative autoethnography, CAE, empathy


Like autoethnography, (AE), collaborative autoethnography (CAE) results in highly personalised narrative accounts of the researcher’s engagement with specific sociocultural contexts. CAE adds a collective interpretation to that engagement. While CAE has thus far been little used in social work practice and education, it is an emerging methodological approach that offers new and different insights and opportunities. This paper discusses CAE and its relationship with social work practice and education. In it I discuss how CAE allows for a collective exploration of an individual experience and how these explorations, and the process of obtaining them, have many benefits for social work practitioners and social work students alike. The similarities between CAE and social work are highlighted, by focussing on some of the very core skills and values that lie at the heart of social work, such as listening, collaborating and showing empathy, CAE would seem a natural progression for inquiry within social work. This contribution to the special issue has implications for both social work practice and social work education.

Author Biography

Val Gant, Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Chester, UK

I am a qualified and registered social worker and currently work as an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Chester, UK. My background is in qualitative research particularly relating to family carers, and social work education.


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How to Cite

Gant, V. (2022). Collaborative autoethnography and social work. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 23(2), 82-102.