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States of Denial: Gendering Policy & Practice in Domestic Abuse and Mental Health Services - Professor Linda McKie, Glasgow Caledonian University
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States of Denial: Gendering Policy & Practice in Domestic Abuse and Mental Health Services - Professor Linda McKie, Glasgow Caledonian University

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States of Denial: Gendering Policy & Practice in Domestic Abuse and Mental Health Services - Professor Linda McKie, Glasgow Caledonian University - a presentation at A Difficult Alliance? Making …

States of Denial: Gendering Policy & Practice in Domestic Abuse and Mental Health Services - Professor Linda McKie, Glasgow Caledonian University - a presentation at A Difficult Alliance? Making Connections between Mental Health and Domestic Violence Research and Practice Agendas on 7 June 2011

Published in: Education, Health & Medicine

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  • 1. States of Denial: Gendering Policy & Practice in Domestic Abuse and Mental Health Services Professor Linda McKie Glasgow Caledonian University & Centre for Research on Families and Relationships
  • 2. Overview
    • Problem representation
    • Gender
    • Violence and abuse
    • Mental health
    • Denial: symmetry / asymmetry
    • Intervention and prevention
  • 3. Situating the day
    • Jackie & Lisa
      • Women’s lived experiences as a central point in and for our work
      • Need to continually highlight male cultures and oppressions
      • Power of alliances & power of voices
      • WE OBJECT – power of words and images
          • Yet the omnipresent role of numbers. Liz
  • 4. Situating the day
    • Liz
      • Naming; the power of language
      • Definitions
        • Trauma (medical)
        • Empowerment and spaces for action
      • Social suffering; “crimes of dominion”
      • Stigma, spoiled identities
      • Time; to tell to be silent to have space to control
  • 5. Situating the day
    • Marai
      • Difference
        • Exotic
        • Strange
        • Dangerous
      • Diversities within groups and “identities”
      • Developing bridges with foundations that recognise & challenge assumptions
  • 6. Scottish Government
    • Violence is not, of course, a homogenous phenomenon ….. Tackling violence in its varied forms, and dealing with its consequences, requires an understanding of its motivations and its wider social contexts.
    • Abuse and gender for over a decade
  • 7. Forwards, backwards …. Onwards
    • There is no theoretical place for “patriarchy” or analysis in terms of gender and power in explanations of cross-gender violence. Hines and Douglas, 2010
    • Public campaigns should focus on men and women equally as instigators and victims of violence …….
  • 8. Problem representation
    • Carol Bacchi (1999: 2) asserts that policies constitute ‘competing interpretations or representations of political issues’, and proposes an approach to policy analysis that is more commonly known as ‘what’s the problem?’: ‘what presuppositions are implied or taken for granted in the problem representation which is offered; and what effects are connected to this representation of the “problem”?’
  • 9. How do problems emerge?
    • Linda Gordon (1988: 27–8) in her work on the history of violence in families argues that a social problem emerges when ‘policymakers perceive it as threatening to social order, and generate widespread conviction that organised social action is necessary to control it’.
    • But what if the possibilities of gendering such issues pose threats to the current social and gender orders?
    • Varied standpoints in politics, research and policy.
    • Seemingly gender neutral nature of policy
  • 10. Gender
    • Wider context
      • Power: e.g. representation in politics
      • Income: e.g. gender pay gap, pensions, poverty
      • Care and domestic labour
      • Time
      • Safety: public, private, conflicts
  • 11. Violence and abuse
    • Rigour, precision, clarity and messy nature of everyday life
    • Act-based approach
      • Scales and scores: Conflict Tactic Scales
        • Equivalence of an act
        • Context
        • Intentions
        • Single or multiple acts
  • 12. Violence and abuse (2)
    • Context based approach
      • Power
      • Time
      • Nature of acts
      • Perspectives
    • Abuse
      • Threats
      • Emotional
      • Financial
      • Friendship and family
  • 13. Mental health
    • WHO: Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. In this positive sense, mental health is the foundation for individual well-being and the effective functioning of a community.
    • Dominance of medical model & psychiatry
    • Social models and social care (Lewis, 2009)
    • Socio-economic empowerment of women
  • 14. Denial: symmetry / asymmetry
    • Mental health, user involvement research
    • “ recognising common and differentiated identities and experiences” (Lewis, 2009: 88)
    • Family Violence and Violence against Women Research
    • Highly political debates; why suggest different findings and proposals?
  • 15. Denial: symmetry / asymmetry
    • Cohen (2001) ‘states of denial’
      • Literal
      • Interpretive
      • Implicatory
    • States of denial
      • Weight of knowledge
      • Self-deception
      • Inability of grasp evidence
      • Avoid moral realities
  • 16. Problem representation
    • Reshaping policy base
    • Recognising gender
    • Recognising the paradigms in concepts
      • Gender
      • Violence
      • Mental health
    • Policy as ideas and discourses and the implications of problem representation in policies and networks (Hearn and McKie, 2008)
  • 17. Conclusions
    • Insert mental health (MH)
    • “ The gendered nature of violence (MH) is still seemingly taken for granted and managed through services and policies that avert their gaze to gender, preferring to concentrate on, or unable to go beyond, the experiences of women as victims, survivors and potential agents of change. Likewise, the gendered nature of policy generally appears taken for granted; this is all the more ironic and damaging in the case of domestic violence (MH) policy and policies on violence more generally” (Hearn and McKie, 2008: 85).
  • 18. Way forward …
    • What’s the problem is an ever present dialogue
    • Silos of government
    • Silos of thinking; blinkers, limitations (recession)
    • Tackling the exhaustion
    • Recognising the movement forward