I stället för fängelse? En studie av vårdande makt, straff och socialt arbete i frivård

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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The purpose of this thesis is to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between support and control. The purpose is reached by a study of the probation service as an organization and the practical side of its work The thesis is based on two empirical studies. One is a study of records and published texts from the period 1820-2000. The second is an interview study, in which twenty probation-service clients, twenty probation officers and ten layman supervisors have contributed their stories of the probation service. Assisted by Charles Tilly's (2000) explanations of categorical inequality, Michel Foucault's (1980; 1987) explanations of disciplinary power, and Erving Goffman's (1998) dramaturgic perspective, it has been possible to explain the patterns and the variations that are presented. During the first, disciplinary, period from the early 19th to the early 20th century, philantropic organizations tried to find work for offenders who wanted to lead a steady life. During the second period, from the turn of the century to the 1940s, the demands on the offenders had been specified and special officials were employed. The third period, from the 1940s to the end of the 1980s, was characterized by an idea of psychosocial work with individuals in a manner concurring with the work performed by the municipal social services. The fourth period, from the 1990s, is characterized by a "management" idea, in which the increasingly professionalized officials of the probation service administer the clients' problems rather than help solving them. The probation service is still presented in terms of "alternative", but the meaning of the words has changed. From their previous meaning of "something other than", they now mean "another form of". Complementing the prison, the social services and other human service organizations, the probation service has a strengthening effect Probation officers and clients vary in their attitude towards their common task.When the parties' attitudes towards each other are similar, their positions are congruous, and when their attitudes differ, their positions are discrepant. Congruous positions accumulate stories of the probation service's supportive aspects. When the positions are discrepant, the parties describe the action by the controlling aspects. The probation service changes its shape in every relation and will be interpreted differently depending on who is describing and who is interpreting. In this way, the disciplinary power will function and avoid the pronounced resistance. By that, it is also possible to individualize the support so as to help each person in the way most appropriate to him.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • School of Social Work
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2001 Mar 30
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 2001-03-30
Time: 10:15
Place: March 30, 2001, Universitetshusets aula
External reviewer(s)
Name: Snare, Annika
Title: Lektor
Affiliation: Köpenhamns Universitet

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Work

Free keywords

  • theory of social work
  • Social changes
  • Sociologi
  • Sociology
  • Client
  • Social Worker
  • Relationship
  • Power
  • Social History
  • Social Work
  • Probation
  • Punishment
  • Sociala förändringar
  • teorier om socialt arbete
  • Social and economic history
  • Ekonomisk och social historia

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