Mothering Under Difficult Circumstances: Challenges to Working with Battered Women

Mothering Under Difficult Circumstances: Challenges to Working with Battered Women

Mothering Under Difficult Circumstances: Challenges to Working with Battered Women

Mothering Under Difficult Circumstances: Challenges to Working with Battered Womens

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Référence bibliographique [2497]

Krane, Julia et Davies, Linda. 2007. «Mothering Under Difficult Circumstances: Challenges to Working with Battered Women ». Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, vol. 22, no 1, p. 23-38.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
« This article explores challenges to understanding mothering under difficult and unusual circumstances—that is, in the context of a shelter for battered women and their children. » (p. 23)

Questions/Hypothèses :
« [W]e propose that mothering is still largely invisible and subject to idealized constructions. When women, in their capacities as mothers, are rendered visible in a shelter, we contend their interactions with their children are understood through a lens of heightened sensitivity to abusive relationships that are marked by the unacceptable use of power and control. We suggest that this lens is distorted in relation to mothering and that an understanding of the emotional complexities and challenges of everyday mothering is a prerequisite for practice with women with children. » (pp. 23-24)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
- Données en provenance de séances d’observation participante dans un centre pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale et leurs enfants.« In total, observations were made of 50 women and 33 children. » (p. 30)
- « Subsequently, the research assistant conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 11 of the 12 staff members that typically lasted more than 2 hours. » (p. 30)

Instruments :
« The interview guide contained the following questions for exploration: the staff’s (a) motivations for working at a battered women’s shelter, (b) visions of feminist ideals and practices at the shelter, (c) accounts of their work in which they experienced both successes and disappointments, and (d) relationships with their colleagues, board members, and the residents. » (p. 30)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé


« When mothers are rendered visible in the shelter, they are observed through a lens of heightened sensitivity to abusive relations that are marked by unacceptable use of power and control. This lens is distorted in relation to mothering, and an understanding of the emotional complexities and challenges of everyday mothering is a prerequisite for practice with women with children. » (p. 23) « Shelter workers’ judgments of women as mothers are shaped, in part, by commitments to equitable and nonviolent power relations. This view is, of course, in keeping with feminist traditions of pursuing egalitarian relationships over hierarchical ones. When workers observe abuses of power between residents, including those that arise between women and children, they are bound to react. The problem, however, is that power relations between mothers and children cannot be examined with the same set of assumptions. This is not to suggest that mothers can be allowed to be abusive. Rather, it is a call to consider the constraints that arise from conceptions of abuse that center on power and control in the context of mother-child relationships. » (p. 35) « The article concludes with a discussion of implications for theory and practice that center on the concepts of power and maternal subjectivity in relation to battered women as mothers in shelters. » (p. 23)