Journal Article

Probation Officers Working with Men

JONATHAN B. SCOURFIELD

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 28, issue 4, pages 581-599
Published in print August 1998 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online August 1998 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjsw.a011368
Probation Officers Working with Men

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Recent debates on making masculinities explicit in work with offenders are reviewed as the context for a qualitative research study. Interviews were conducted with probation officers and files and pre-sentence reports read with the aim of exploring the construction of masculinities within the probation service. Tensions about gender were found within and between the three areas of professional rhetoric, practice and internal relations. The most significant finding is a gap between rhetoric and practice. While most officers interviewed spoke of an interest in focusing either directly or indirectly on their clients' identity as men, the files and reports found only a very small amount of direct work on this. There was a larger amount of evidence of work that could be seen as indirectly challenging masculinites, but another significant part of the files and reports on men reflected a tendency towards ignoring gender or even colluding with oppressive masculinities.

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Subjects: Social Work

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