Social Work Day

Social Work Day

Thursday, 18 May 2023

International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Theme: Qualitative Inquiry in Post(?)-Pandemic Times

Social Work Day Program

Opening Plenary at Social Work Day at the Illini Union

“All are Welcome”

Social Work Day: Energy and Ideas

Social Work Day is the great social work get-together. Social workers from throughout the world come together to share ideas and draw energy from each other. All methods and topics are welcome. We are particularly interested in papers that expand thinking on how social work qualitative research contributes to social justice, social care, and social change.

Opening Plenary 2023

A Global Network for Qualitative Social Work Research? Yes? No? It depends?

Qualitative social work research is a distinct way of doing research, and its roots are more than 100 years old.  Qualitative Social Work researchers adhere to the same values, methods, and methodologies, but how researchers implement them varies by culture and other local conditions. Sadly, researchers throughout the world have concerns about how Western researchers impose their perspectives when they do research in non-Western culture.

Participants on this plenary panel will share their experiences with this colonialization, and they will also discuss whether and how to explore possibilities for developing a global network. Reasons to do so are to increase the influence of qualitative social work research and to spread really good ideas. However, mistakes that Western researchers have made may have created barriers to a global network.

Thursday Once Again

This year’s Social Work Day is once again on Thursday where we will be together in one place to share our research. For the next two days, we will participate in the main conference where we will mingle with scholars from about 200 countries and scores of disciplines and be exposed to an amazing variety of ways to do and to present qualitative research. As stated earlier, we will have a plenary on the election of Donald Trump at the main conference, either on Friday or Saturday.

Graduate students, new professors, practitioners, and seasoned professors mingle at Social Work Day. The networking possibilities are endless. If you want to discuss ideas and topics, feel free to contact Jane Gilgun at [email protected]. Jane is the convener of the conference and is a professor emerita, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA. If you have additional ideas about sessions, initiatives, publicity, fund-raising, or any other relevant topic, please contact Jane. She will let you know if others have similar interests and will connect you to other researchers with similar interests.

Staying in Urbana

Of special note are the cheap rates of staying in University housing—$40 or less per day. The restaurant food is international and also delicious and cheap, with lots of free food at least four times at receptions and barbeques.

To get a sense of what Social Work Day is like, take a look at the video of Social Work Day 2016. You can link to it at

We have several other videos on YouTube, such as the celebration of Roy Ruckdeschel and Ian Shaw as they stepped down as co-editors of Qualitative Social Work and the welcoming of Karen Staller as the new editor.  Other videos are on intervention research, reflexivity and qualitative social work research, and the effects of funding on a homeless shelter in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Once again, please feel free to contact Jane Gilgun at [email protected] for further information and to share ideas for Social Work Day and anything else relevant to qualitative social work research.