This article will address the issue of using the concepts of inter- and intra-subjectivity in social research. I apply the concepts to achieve insight into how social and cultural dynamics are processed as subjective experiences by social educators to be as they prepare to enter the practice field for the first time during their education. When faced with the demands of work life and educational training practice, the social pedagogue to be is confronted with her own ‘inner’ expectations and concerns towards the workfield along with her own ability to cope with these issues. In contrast, she is confronted with ‘outer’ socially and culturally embedded discourses as they are played out in the objectives of education as such, as well as what can be expected of a professionally trained social pedagogue and an employee in general. By using a combination of interactionist theory and psychosocial theory in the analysis of an interview with a student named Lene, I will demonstrate how the often conflicting demands and expectations are being played out in the inter-relational tension between the researcher (myself) and the interviewee as we talk about the upcoming practice period for this woman who is studying to become a social pedagogue. The article will elaborate on the benefits of combining perspectives on ‘action’ and ‘emotion’ when researching learning processes and subjective experiences in relation to the workfield of social educators.
Journal of Social Work Practice, 2011, Vol 25, Issue 3, p. 351-363
inter relation; inter-subjectivity; intra-subjectivity; narrativity; human service work