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Communication as coping; how staff working in public housing use narrative to understand their complex and sometimes challenging work.
conference contributionposted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Tony ChalkleyTony Chalkley
This paper describes how ethnographic research was used to explore the communication practices of staff working organisation charged with the provision of low cost housing to some of the very poorest and most marginalised members of society in Victoria, Australia. This paper is concerned with how the narratives of the participants (that is, their ‘stories’) provides a very useful and potent insight into the daily life of staff working with people experiencing ‘multiple and complex needs’. The paper uses vignettes and case studies to illuminate the daily work of staff, sharing with the reader the things they see and hear and describing the complexity of the ‘wicked’ problems they face. More importantly, the research uncovered a number of narrative structures staff employ to understand and respond to these problems.