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Ryan Kruis ACF Abstract FY11

"A Photovoice Exploration of Religion and Spirituality Among Social Work Students and Practitioners."

International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry Conference

Ryan Kruis

This presentation explores a topic of burgeoning interest in the
social work field, spirituality and religion. Many social work programs address the integration of spirituality and religion into social work practice in a minimal way. This study employed a photovoice method to explore eleven social work students experiences with spirituality and religion. This research used commonly accepted aspects of spirituality, including hope, meaning, and purpose, in assessing participants understanding of spirituality. Participants, who generally self-identified as religious and/ or spiritual, participated in three phases of data collection. The prompt questions and debriefing processes focused on three subject matters: participants personal spiritual and religious identities, participants experiences within their academic curricula, and how participants integrate spirituality and religion in social work practice. This presentation shares the method and responses of this work, which used photo elicitation in provoking thought and generating discussion around an abstract and often deeply personal topic.