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Title: A qualitative feminist analysis of health and social care services to illegal drug users
Author: Malpas, Denise
ISNI:       0000 0001 3617 7164
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1997
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My research examines the work of two agencies delivering heath and social care services to illegal drug users and in so doing, aims to reveal how far these services operate in women's interest. The analysis draws on feminist principles of health and social care practice in order to construct an analytic framework for the collection and processing of data. It adopts a research methodology which is congruent with a feminist approach to social enquiry and which is committed to exposing the knowledge creation process to critical scrutiny. Data is collected using the techniques of participant observation and in-depth interview and the study integrates both sets of data in developing its discussion of findings. An early decision was taken to focus on the way in which the services are delivered to both men and women in order to examine the operation of gendered power relations and their impact on the ways in which clients are seen and responded to. The use of gender as a key variable has resulted in an analysis which points up a lack of attention to men's abuse of women in the social work encounter. Men's abusing rather than abusive behaviours are the main focus of attention. In contrast, a marked concern with women's potential abuse and neglect of their children was evident on one of the research sites. A propensity to respond to women primarily as mothers has been revealed and critically scrutinised. These, together with other key findings, suggest that services are not gender neutral, that they are designed to respond to a predominantly male drug user and that treatment strategies have been tailored accordingly. In drawing the analysis to a conclusion I have revisited the feminist principles of health and social care which provide the study's conceptual framework and have considered how far they can assist in developing services which meet women's needs and in furthering a feminist political agenda. I reflect critically on the methodological approach I have adopted and consider its impact on the validity of the research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sociology