Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1822/29754

TitleThe construction of professional knowledge : a comparative study of Social Assistants and Mediators
Author(s)Silva, Ana Maria Costa e
KeywordsProfessional knowledge
Social service
Mediation
Dynamics of identities
Issue date2014
PublisherMcser Publishing
JournalJournal of Educational and Social Research
Abstract(s)This work is centred on the dynamics of identity and professional development of two socio-professional groups; namely, Social Assistants and Mediators. It takes as its point of departure the characterisation of these socio-professional groups and their professionalization. The professionalization of the social groups matches the dynamics of identity development and presupposes social recognition of their professional knowledge and competences that are built in situations of real work and professional socialization (Dubar, 1997; Wittorski, 2008). Schön's (1996) "epistemology of professional practice" is paramount in this context, as theoretical knowledge and learning developed in formal training settings are insufficient for their professional daily work. The study of a qualitative nature was carried out using case studies in four countries - two in Europe and two in Latin America – Portugal, France, Brazil and Argentina. It had as its principal objectives the identification and analysis of the dynamics of identity and their articulation with the construction of professional knowledge in two socio-professional groups, which have been the subject of an increasing social visibility. The research strategies that we favoured were phenomenological and ethno-methodological, which turned out to be the two fundamental techniques for collecting information; namely, documentary research and biographical interviews. This methodology allowed us access to the socio-historical processes and subjective experiences of the participants with respect to their dynamics of professionalisation and in this way we could understand better the continuities and/or gaps in the processes in relation to their construction of identity. In order to analyse the data collected we turned to the emerging characterisations, a structural analysis of discourses and continuous comparison, when searching for evidence in the construction of the interpretative text. As the principal results of the study, we would stress the singularity of each one of these socio-professional groups taking into account their origins, their socio-historical processes and the theoretical and ethical assumptions that have structured their identities. Taking, as a reference, the geographical and cultural variable, it was not possible to find any significant differences in or between any of the groups, which indicates a consistent specific and cross-disciplinary professional ethos. Also evident was the particularity and relevance of professional knowledge in the assertion and professional development of both the Social Assistants and the Mediators.
TypeArticle
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/1822/29754
ISSN2239-978X
2240-0524
Peer-Reviewedyes
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CECS - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Articles in international journals

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