Analyzing Internet-related Social Work Opportunities of an Approach inspired by Actor-Network Theory (ANT)

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Matthias Scheibe

Abstract: The number of areas of society that are being digitised continues to increase and so Internet offers are becoming increasingly important. This development also affects social work, whose specialists meanwhile see a trend to expand the internet-related offerings. This has been further strengthened in germany by the lockdowns since March 2020. This poses a particular challenge for youth workers, as their addressees, the so-called digital natives, did not experience the time before digitization and use the Internet as a matter of course to cultivate existing friendships and meet new people. Today’s young people no longer distinguish between offline and online, they are onlife. However, even in this age group there is every level of the digital divide, because not all have the same equipment, fast internet access or the necessary application skills.Up to now, they have only had limited success in switching to hybrid offers. In addition to the requirements of the recipients, this is partly due to the technical scepticism of the social work-ers, the relatively one-sided orientation of further training and the lack of equipment (Klein-schmidt/Scheibe). All this is still incomplete and does not apply equally to all social workers.This unfinished list shows that this phenomenon is interrelated and cannot be described and explained solely by describing the skills of the social workers. At this point, the actor-network theory (ANT) could be a useful theoretical perspective, because it allows the entanglement and reciprocal influences of human and non-human components in a network to be visible and then analysed. I take up the previous considerations on the use of the ANT in contexts of internet-related social work and think about them along the question of how a case study could be structured in which the individual situation of youth workers in relation to the respective conditions of success of their internet-related activities can be explored and subsequently analysed.To answer the question, I first outline the basic elements of the ANT, and then explore the potential of a thematic examination of specialists in case studies on object-related theory buil-ding. Based on this, I present a possible research design. Finally, I summarize the relevant findings and discuss ideas for further development. Stüwe, G., Ermel, N.: Lehrbuch Soziale Arbeit und Digitalisierung. Beltz, Weinheim, Basel (2019) Bossong, H.: Soziale Arbeit in Zeiten der Digitalisierung: Entwicklungspotenziale mit Schatten-seiten. neue praxis 4, 303 – 324 (2018) Buschle, C., Meyer, N.: Soziale Arbeit im Ausnahmezustand?! Professionstheoretische For-schungsnotizen zur Corona-Pandemie. Soziale Passagen 12, 155 – 170 (2020) Günzel, S.: Raum. Eine kulturwissenschaftliche Einführung. transcript, Bielefeld (2017) Waechter, N., Hollauf, I.: Soziale Herausforderungen und Entwicklungsaufgaben im Medienalltag jugendlicher Videospieler/innen. deutsche jugend 5, 218-226 (2018) Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (BMFSFJ): 16. Kinder- und Ju-gendbericht. Förderung demokratischer Bildung im Kindes- und Jugendalter. Rostock (2020) Iske, S., Kutscher, N.: Digitale Ungleichheiten im Kontext Sozialer Arbeit. In: Kutscher, N., Ley, T., Seelmeyer, U., Siller, F., Tillmann, A., Zorn, I. (eds.): Handbuch Soziale Arbeit und Digitalisie-rung. Beltz-Juventa, Weinheim, Basel, 115 – 128 (2020) Bossong, H.: Soziale Arbeit in Zeiten der Digitalisierung: Entwicklungspotenziale mit Schattenseiten. neue praxis 4, 303 – 324 (2018) Helbig, C., Roeske, A. (2020): Digitalisierung in Studium und Weiterbildung der Sozialen Arbeit. In: Kutscher, N., Ley, T., Seelmeyer, U., Siller, F., Tillmann, A., Zorn, I. (eds.): Handbuch Soziale Arbeit und Digitalisierung. Beltz-Juventa, Weinheim, Basel, 333 – 346 (2020) Kleinschmidt, N. S., Scheibe, M.: Der Digital Divide bei Fachkräften der Sozialen Arbeit. Abbild ge-sellschaftlicher Entwicklungen oder ein eingeschriebener „Konstruktionsfehler“ – Eine Untersuchung der Kinder- und Jugendhilfe. FORUM sozial 2, 47 – 49 (2021) Latour, B.: Existenzweisen. Eine Anthropologie der Modernen. Suhrkamp, Berlin (2018) Eßer, F.: Wissenschaft- und Technikforschung: Erklärungspotenziale für die Digitalisierung der Sozialen Arbeit. In: Kutscher, N., Ley, T., Seelmeyer, U., Siller, F., Tillmann, A., Zorn, I. (eds.): Handbuch Soziale Arbeit und Digitalisierung. Beltz-Juventa, Weinheim, Basel, 18 – 29 (2020) Hoff, W.: Vom Fallverstehen zur Theoriebildung. Über die epistemische Bedeutung einer ver-nachlässigten Wissensform. In: Birgmeier, B., Mührel, E., Winkler, M. (eds.): Sozialpädagogische SeitenSprünge. Einsichten von außen, Aussichten von innen: Befunde und Visionen zur Sozialpä-dagogik. Beltz-Juventa, Weinheim, Basel, 89 – 95 (2020)

Keywords: actor-network, social work, digitization, New Materialism, youth work

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002583

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