You don't have to shout: vocal behaviour in social work communication

Hanna, Sue and Nash, Mary (2012) You don't have to shout: vocal behaviour in social work communication. Social Work Education: The International Journal, 31 (4) . pp. 485-497. ISSN 0261-5479 [Article] (doi:10.1080/02615479.2011.564610)


In the context of an increasing trend toward indirect service user/practitioner contact, this article argues that voice quality, vocal features, and the use of paralanguage can facilitate communication and/or negatively reinforce social difference and professional hierarchies of power in social work practice. These issues will be considered with reference to a finding from a qualitative research study undertaken in New Zealand with Intake Social Workers (ISW) at the National Contact Centre of Child Youth and Family (CYF). The National Contact Centre (NCC) is a social work call centre, and the official entry point to New Zealand's statutory child protection system. The research explored how ISWs constructed their practice in a call centre environment. The study identified the importance to many ISWs of achieving a calm, respectful telephone manner towards service users. A smaller number of participants showed more in-depth appreciation of the impact of vocal behaviour on practice, drawing attention to the effect of paralanguage on relationships with callers. Strategies for the teaching of this skill set to social work students will be considered.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Higher Education, Skills Teaching, Students, Anti-discriminatory Practice, Reflection
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 12812
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Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2013 16:16
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:29

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