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Title: Understanding welfare practices : essays of involvement and detachment
Author: Webb, David
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2000
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The most familiar sociological image of the probation officer sees him firmly committed to some variant of a psycho-pathological view of deviancy in which both society and volition are disregarded. It was from this assumption that the research sprang, the purpose being to examine the treatment ideologies held by probation officers. But from focussed interviews, it was clear that explanations of deviancy offered by the probation officers were wider than anticipated, encompassing both determinist and voluntarist accounts of behaviour. It is suggested that the structural context of probation work - utilitarian justice and casework treatment notions - creates more 'space' for offering a greater variety of explanations than has often been appreciated. And, in offering these explanations probation officers do not necessarily reinterpret their clients' accounts which were somtimes accepted and at other times rejected. How the cases were explained appear to depend on the circumstances of the case. The more serious the offender's criminal history or his personal or social problems, the more likely it was that the probation officer thought in determinist terms offering an 'action' account. But equally, the respondents recognised the sometimes voluntary nature of delinquency, though this was generally in less serious cases.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social work theory Sociology Human services