The staffs at the municipality offices consider women’s shelters as the most obvious choice for battered women. However, today’s research on battered women is largely lacking both a perspective on the women’s stay at a shelter and a women’s perspective in general. This thesis explores the everyday interaction at a women’s shelter, in order to highlight how the meeting between battered women and the personnel at a women’s shelter is practiced and negotiated. The thesis is therefore a study on the women’s stay from the perspective of both the battered women and the personnel. The empirical data is based on fieldwork consisting of five weeks participant observations at a shelter including four interviews with women and one focus group interview with four staff members. The theoretical approach is based on specific selected concepts, primarily from Pierre Bourdieu and Erving Goffman, in order to analyse the meeting between the women and personnel as a dynamic interaction influenced by macrostructures. Based on the selected theoretical framework, this analysis is therefore a study of the power in the relations between the women and personnel and how the power is negotiated in everyday life at the women’s shelter. The shelter is analysed as a micro field in the general field of social work. Subsequently, based on Bourdieu, four different capitals are identified: cultural capital, personal capital, familial capital and capital of violence. Hence, the first part of this analysis exposes how the staffs attach both different meaning and significance to the four capitals in the shelter pending on the particular woman in question. In this case, the personnel operate with logic of emotions and sentiments. The women are categorized conditionally on their share of symbolic capital and the sympathy of the staff. Furthermore the analysis emphasizes the subtle ways the women can act, trying to create new advantageous positions. In most cases the outcome of such negotiations is either the personnel bending the rules or limited options for the woman, which then can result in the woman’s early departure. This leads to the last part of the analysis, where the personnel’s perspectives on a woman’s stay as a transitional stages is analysed. This perspective suggests that the personnel’s idea of the women´s recovery and development has certain risks of not accommodating the women in more than one sense.
|Educations||Cultural Encounter, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate|
|Publication date||31 May 2014|
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