Transiciones vitales: una propuesta de categorización para la formación y la intervención de los profesionales de la acción social

Paco López, Oscar Martínez Rivera, Janire Fonseca Peso

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts


Introduction. Classical life-course transitions, linked to a three-part, work-based cycle (childhood, as a work-preparation period; adulthood, as the active work period; and retirement) have now been superseded by much less standardised pathways marked by biographisation and uncertainty. More uncertain life journeys present challenges to everyone, but particularly to those affected by greater inequalities in terms of rights and opportunities. For the professionals who intervene in these processes, providing guidance also entails challenges and opportunities. The purpose of this study was to determine the most significant life-course transitions and the circumstances that characterise them from the perspective of both present and future social action professionals. Methodology. A qualitative study was conducted based on the contributions of 129 Social Work and Social Education students, teachers and professionals. The information was gathered through an online survey that was collected and analysed following grounded theory. Results. First, seven large groups of life-course transitions were identified: family and interpersonal relationships; loss and grief processes; employment and economic situation; the health-illness binomial; life cycle; education; and, finally, the context, territory, or society. In terms of population differences, the student body had a lesser preference for transitional areas related to employment and economic situation, and a greater preference for life cycle areas. On the other hand, the study provided a more microscopic view of processes that can go unnoticed in these transitional domains. In each domain, we identified the described situational scenarios, thus providing a more concrete, life-transition perspective on the type of situations faced by professionals who accompany individuals who experience them. All this forms an indicative catalogue of situations in which social action professionals act today and they represent opportunities to rethink professional practice. In addition, these aspects are likely to be incorporated into the initial and subsequent training of professionals and they also open lines of work for future research. A novel study finding was the significant number of circumstances that can be crucial for the well-being of the individuals attended to by social action professionals. Discussion. In general, life transitions continue to be marked by socially recognised developmental cycles. Other transitions are emerging alongside them. The latter are associated with personal, economic, or social circumstances that do not fit into classical developmental cycles. They involve complex emotional burdens for both those experiencing them and those providing support, and they are all marked by uncertainty and vulnerability. Conclusion. The results help us to build awareness around the different types of situations to consider when addressing work with the individuals we serve. Today’s social dynamism leads us to understand that it is as important, if not more so, to accompany life transition processes than to position ourselves effectively in the starting or destination scenarios of social work professional practice.
Títol traduït de la contribuciólife-course transitions: a categorisation proposal for the training and intervention of social action professionals
Idioma originalCastellà
Pàgines (de-a)184-213
RevistaAlternativas. Cuadernos de Trabajo Social
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 28 de juny 2024


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