Großes E*erzählen: Eine narrationsanalytische Sicht auf GrandTheories der Sozialen Arbeit am Beispiel der Theorie der Unterstützung zur Lebensbewältigung

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Building on our critical work and previously published narrative analyses on grand theories of social work, in this article we take Böhnisch’s theory of social work as a form of social support for coping with life as an example to examine a well-known grand theory of social work with respect to its narrative structure. For this purpose, we restrict ourselves to the opening sequences of a relevant text from the total body of the theory. It becomes clear that with the help of complex interweaving of metonymies and synecdoches and a predominantly mechanistic argumentation design, the theory shows the narrative structure of a maximum unambiguous story full of “compulsion,” “necessity,” and “structural” unambiguity. The theory primarily aims at providing a normative orientation for social work. The core plausibility strategy is based on the argument of factual unambiguity of historically developed and permanently continuing structures, and resulting necessities and options for social work practice. The result is a comedy about social work, in which social work represents a socially unavoidable and, according to its function, thoroughly pedagogical fact. In addition, there are elements from fairy tale narratives that give the impression of a family story for social work that needs to be handed down over generations.
Translated title of the contributionGrand narrative: A narrative analysis of grand theories of social work exemplified by Böhnisch’s theory of support for coping with life
Original languageGerman
JournalSoziale Passagen
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)93-109
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.2023