Doctoral thesis

Narrative activity within an institutional framework : how a rehabilitation team constructs problems that can be solved


175 p

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2005 (jury note: Summa cum laude)

English This is a study about discursive practices of problem solving within a team of professionals who rehabilitate people with psycho-social problems. The study community is the team of Centro a.D., an organization located in the South of Switzerland. The research combines an ethnographic study of Centro a.D. with a qualitative analysis of recorded talk during team meetings. In particular, narrative analysis has been applied to study problem solving. An extensive history of team meetings has been considered; it was possible to recognize that some operations systematically occur in problem solving. The set of these operations is the corpus of Centro a.D’s working practices in relation to problem solving activity, i.e. layered narratives, old narratives as resources, contextualization, discursive simplification of the rehabilitation project, centralization of interaction. Examining the relationship between the problem solving activity and the institutional framework of Centro a.D., the research illustrates the extent to which problem solving is shaped by such a framework. Namely, planned solutions necessarily belong to a set of possible actions enabled by the institution and problem description must enable the planning of those kind of solutions that can be implemented within the institution. Therefore we can speak in terms of institutional narratives and non-institutional narratives: institutional narratives construct problems that open possibilities for action within a specific fragment of social reality.
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Information, communication and media sciences
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