24 Pages

Introduction: Taking up the Call for Critical and Creative Methods in Social Work Research

Attempting to understand and depict people’s lives and even momentary fragments of those lives through words, numbers and images is ‘inaccurate and insufficient’ (Cixous, 1993, p. 11). As researchers we are constantly trying to get a little closer to understanding and unearthing the complexity of social worlds and people’s ways of moving in them. Sometimes we pause and the awareness of the complexity of our task, like a mist of doubt, covers our consciousness. Too frequently academic research occurs amidst multiple tasks and to timetables and milestones. Reflexivity, on the other hand, requires a purposefully carved space to attempt to sit back and question our place as one who asks questions and attempts to answer them. Perhaps research is just that, an attempt – an attempt to think, to question and to find answers. The appeal of research being an attempt lies in the idea that research is unfinished. Qualitative research with its exploratory focus leaves a lingering sentiment that there are words left unsaid – unable to be reached.