Digital storytelling for social work interventions

Chitat Larry Chan, Ka Man Yau

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Digital storytelling is a storytelling method that is interwoven with digitized images, texts, sounds, and other interactive elements. It can be used for social work intervention purposes. Digital storytelling activities can be applied at different levels of practice: i) micro-level: individuals, families, and small groups; ii) meso-macro-level: community, organization, society, and culture; and iii) multiple-level: targeting micro, meso, and macro levels in the same intervention. Digital storytelling practice emerged with the advent of accessible media production hardware, editing software, and media sharing platforms. In addition, there are sustainable organizations that have gradually developed their unique methods and funding models. This growing network has popularized the concept of digital storytelling. Further, there are academic networks studying the phenomenon, which have further positioned the field in scholarly discussion. Digital storytelling faces challenges that are common to all other forms of technology application in social work, but a key debate is over the extent to which digital stories are representations of service users’ voices. Since digital storytelling practices adopt diverse terminologies with various media tools and methods, future research is suggested to have rigorous experimental designs, theoretically based research, and critical appraisal of its effectiveness. The references here were selected based on their quality, as well as their contrasting differences. In order to illustrate the development of the field, the annotated references introduced are generally discussed in a chronological order.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Oxford Bibliographies in Social Work
Editors E. Mullen
Place of Publication New York
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


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