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What is the problem? Representations of men's violence against women in a Swedish context
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2018 (English)In: Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 2014-3613, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 1684-1708Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abuse and violence against women is not only a serious violation of human rights, but is also, according to the Swedish government, the most acute and greatest obstacle to a gender-equal society. The aim of the current study was to investigate discourses that govern social work practice in Sweden. I analysed discourses of violence against women in five Swedish public working guidelines using Carol Bacchi’s social constructivist analytical approach What's the Problem Represented to Be?  Findings show that violence is framed in the guidelines within a heterosexual context and is represented as an individual problem of women within close relations and families. This framing also promotes a division between violence against Swedish-born women and violence against foreign-born women. The analysis also shows that equality seems to be more about the inclusion of men rather than looking after women's situations. How violence against women is understood will affect how violence can be predicted, prevented, and treated, and thus there is a risk that these representations might affect women subjected to violence differently depending on how social workers interpret and apply these guidelines.  Findings also suggest that these representations maintain gender hierarchies and other structural and societal inequalities and ignore violence against women as a major global social problem.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 7, no 3, p. 1684-1708
Keywords [en]
men’s violence against women, violence in close relationships, honour-related violence, social work, social policy
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-35030DOI: 10.17583/generos.2018.3737Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85062898532OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-35030DiVA, id: diva2:1268388
Available from: 2018-12-05 Created: 2018-12-05 Last updated: 2020-01-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mäns våld mot kvinnor: Diskurser och kunskap i det sociala arbetets praktik
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mäns våld mot kvinnor: Diskurser och kunskap i det sociala arbetets praktik
2020 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Male violence against women : Discourses and knowledge in social work practice
Abstract [sv]

I avhandlingen analyseras vilken kunskap och diskurser som vägleder socialtjänstens arbete med mäns våld mot kvinnor. Avhandlingens övergripande frågeställningar fokuserar på: diskurser om mäns våld i Socialstyrelsens utbildningsmaterial, socialarbetares kunskapsbehov och hur dessa tillgodoses, samt socialarbetares uppfattningar om mäns våld mot kvinnor. Avhandlingen har ett feministiskt och intersektionellt perspektiv och bygger på två delstudier. I den första delstudien används kvalitativa metoder, och empirin består av fem utbildningsmaterial om mäns våld mot kvinnor som publicerats av Socialstyrelsen. Empirin analyserats med hjälp av Carol Bacchis policy approach What’s the Problem Represented to be?, och Norman Faircloughs kritiska diskursanalys. Empirin i den andra delstudien utgörs av enkätdata som inhämtats bland 153 socialarbetare verksamma i socialtjänsten i tre svenska kommuner med olika demografi och geografisk placering. Avhandlingen visar tre centrala resultat. För det första framställs mäns våld i könsneutrala termer och våldet beskrivs som ett relationsvåld och/eller familjevåld. För det andra problematiserar utbildningsmaterialens texter inte mäns överordning, de fäster inte heller någon särskild vikt vid strukturella orsakssammanhang. För det tredje centreras kunskapen och diskurserna kring individuella behov och orsaker. Främst fokuseras behoven hos de grupper av kvinnor som Regeringen menar är särskilt sårbara för våld. Det senare leder till att kvinnor kollektiviseras och att mäns ansvar för våldet, i synnerhet svenska män, och sambandet mellan våld, jämlikhet och andra sociala strukturer förbises. Professionell erfarenhet i ärenden där våld förekommer och utbildning inom området är faktorer som socialarbetarna anser bidragit till att öka deras kunskap. Trots detta uppger respondenter med lång arbetslivserfarenhet, hög utbildning, och fortbildning att de saknar kunskap om mäns våld mot kvinnor. Även fast att socialarbetarna upplever kunskapsbrist, visar resultatet att socialarbetarna endast tagit del stöddokument i begränsad omfattning. Den här avhandlingen bidrar med kunskap om vikten av språkanvändning och hur vi förstår mäns våld mot kvinnor. Resultatet kan användas för att ifrågasätta och utmana rådande normer om mäns våld i samhället.

Abstract [en]

This thesis examines knowledge and discourses guiding social services’ work related to male violence against women. The focus of the research questions is on discourses on male violence against women, social workers’ knowledge and understandings of these issues. The thesis has a feminist and an intersectional perspective and is based on two studies. The empirical data in the first study consists of five study guides published by the National Board of Health and Welfare. Carol Bacchi's policy approach What’s the Problem Represented to Be? and Norman Fairclough's Critical Discourse Analysis were used in the qualitative analysis. The second study consists of survey data obtained from social workers occupied in social services in three Swedish municipalities. The thesis reveals three primary results. First, male violence is framed in gender-neutral terms, and the violence is described as a problem in relationships and/or as family violence. Second, neither the study guides nor the social workers pay particular attention to structural causes, and do not problematise male superiority. Third, the knowledge and discourses on men’s violence against women centre around individual needs and causes of violence. In particular, they focus on the needs of the groups of women that the Government considers particularly vulnerable to violence. The latter leads to women being collectivized and men's responsibility for the violence, in particular Swedish men, and the link between violence, equality and other social structures, being neglected. Professional experience with cases where violence occurs and education in the area are factors that social workers consider contribute to increased knowledge. Despite this, respondents with long working experience, high education and continuing education state that they lack knowledge of men's violence against women. Although many social workers indicated that they lack knowledge, the result revealed that they only use knowledge-enhancing guidelines to a limited extent. This thesis contributes with knowledge of the importance of language use for how we understand men's violence against women. The results can be used as a basis for questioning and challenging prevailing norms and perceptions in society about men's violence against women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mittuniversitetet, 2020. p. 101
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 313
Keywords
social work, social service, social workers, male violence against women, discourse, knowledge, education, policies, socialt arbete, socialtjänst, socialarbetare, mäns våld mot kvinnor, diskurs, kunskap, utbildning, policys
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-38173 (URN)978-91-88947-34-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-01-24, F234, Kunskapens väg 8, Östersund, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 3 inskickat, delarbete 4 manuskript.

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 3 submitted, paper 4 manuscript.

Available from: 2020-01-03 Created: 2020-01-02 Last updated: 2020-01-03Bibliographically approved

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