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Unitary appreciative inquiry (UAI): A new approach for researching social work education and practice.

Hughes, M., 2012. Unitary appreciative inquiry (UAI): A new approach for researching social work education and practice. British Journal of Social Work, 42 (7), 1388-1405.

Full text available as:

bjsw.pdf - Accepted Version


DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcr139


This paper presents a methodological discussion of unitary appreciative inquiry (UAI). It considers its potential as a research tool, therapeutic intervention and an educative tool within social work practice and education due to its congruence with professional social work values. UAI seeks to gain rich and deep insight, understanding and knowledge of an experience from the person themselves. Participants are recognised as the expert of their own experience and power is shared through participatory and appreciative approaches. The aim is for participants to benefit directly from the research process as they are supported to express, analyse and reflect on their experience and to make changes which could improve their lives. Creative media such as music, art, creative writing and digital stories are used to facilitate expression and analysis. UAI seeks a synoptic perspective when viewing the wide range of data that has been generated within a research inquiry. Instead of analysing as separate parts, this is viewed as a whole and distilled to create a snapshot which seeks to capture the whole person and their experience. Insight gained from the presentation of research findings can provide a catalyst from which others can reflect, analyse and evaluate their own practice.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:unitary appreciative inquiry, whole person education, social work, methodology
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:18640
Deposited By: Mel Hughes
Deposited On:18 Oct 2011 12:03
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:40


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