Journal Article

Femininity, Sexuality and Professionalism in the Children's Departments


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 28, issue 4, pages 471-490
Published in print August 1998 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online August 1998 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Femininity, Sexuality and Professionalism in the Children's Departments

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Noting the significance of women in management in the local authority children's departments (1948–72) and the preoccupation with women in management during the 1990s, the authors compare these two periods. In particular, they focus upon the discourses of femininity which shape the ways in which women as managers and as professionals are talked about, understood and analysed. The argument, presented from a feminist post-structuralist perspective, is based on an analysis of data generated through interviews with women who were significant in the children's departments (as children's officers or members of the children's committees) between 1948 and 1972. The paper shows that the ways in which femininity is constructed, socially and through women's subjectivities, act as powerful mechanisms through which women are controlled, but also present opportunities to women for resistance and change.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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