Clown-Based Social Work for Child Protection Practice: Transdisciplinary Correlations on Failure

Doctorate other than PhD


Steggall, David. 2023. Clown-Based Social Work for Child Protection Practice: Transdisciplinary Correlations on Failure. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Creative Arts. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/yzww4
Title

Clown-Based Social Work for Child Protection Practice: Transdisciplinary Correlations on Failure

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorsSteggall, David
Supervisor
1. FirstA/Pr Rebecca Scollen
2. SecondA/Pr Beata Batorowicz
3. ThirdMr Scott Alderdice
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Creative Arts
Number of Pages258
Year2023
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/yzww4
Abstract

Social Work Practice in the child protection context is a fraught endeavour as children, family members and practitioners inevitably become caught in a complex rotation of trying and failing. Social Work Theory is a contested site, rife with ambiguity in its pursuit for knowledge about how to achieve individual and social change. Child protection work is presented as impossible, with practitioners unable to resolve inherent contradictions in their role. This Practice as Research (PaR) doctorate undertakes practical experiments in clowning: training, devising, performing, and drawing in order to discover the correlations between clown and social work. These correlations are then explored further to inform an alternative way of working in the child protection field. Based on the historical clown-archetypes of the Whiteface and Auguste clown, Lecoq’s pedagogy of the New Clown and more recent conceptualisations for clown logic from the field, this research presents a distinct clown theory. Clown theory discovers the world with naivety and stupidity; and boldly attempts impossible tasks, while accepting inevitable failure that leads to play and pleasure in the here and now. These concepts appear to enact a relational presence that is empowering and can lead to a new awareness of self and the social world. This project is transdisciplinary as it crosses boundaries, swerves right and left, gets lost, folds back over and discovers a new approach to engaging with children and families in the child protection field, termed Clown Based Social Work. Clown Based Social Work is presented as unfinished and not-yet-known, however, is posited as a form of Dissenting Social Work Practice in the Child Protection Field.

KeywordsClown Theory; Dissenting Social Work; Practice as Research; Queer Failure; Social Work Theory; New Theatre Clown
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020369999. Other creative arts and writing not elsewhere classified
4409. Social work
Public Notes

New Theatre Clown

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Creative Arts
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/yzww4/clown-based-social-work-for-child-protection-practice-transdisciplinary-correlations-on-failure

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