Ofridstid Fäders våld, staten och den separerande familjen
Sammanfattning: The present thesis explores intersectional and institutional conditions for counteracting domestic violence in the Swedish welfare state. Empirically, the study focuses on professional discourses and practices concerning fathers’ violence against mothers and children in the context of separation, in three domains of practice: 1) Children’s education; 2) Disputes concerning custody, contact and residence; and 3) Welfare benefits such as financial aid. Theoretically, the study draws on feminist political theory and sociology, childhood studies and critical race studies. The empirical material consists of court orders and interviews with staff and victimised mothers. Two main social processes that undermine implementation of children’s rights are identified and discussed: Familialisation and selective repression. The thesis is based on four articles:Article I, (Skolan, familjerätten och barnen) School, family law and children exposed to violence, explores how staff at school and preschool understands their professional task, when in encounters with children in difficulties due to family law proceedings. The results suggest that two competing perspectives shape staff understandings of risks, solutions and violence. When arguing from the child’s rights’ perspective, the staff prioritises children’s safety and participation, while an upbringing perspective tends to construct violence mainly as a problem of order, with disquieting implications for vulnerable children.Article II, (Pedagoger i det sociala uppdragets gränstrakter: Att hantera familjerättsliga processer, hot och våld)Pedagogues in the borderland of their social task: Dealing with family law proceedings, threats and violence, investigates strategies used by preschool and school staff, when encountering gendered conflicts and violence between parents. How do the staff cope with their own and children’s vulnerability? An analytical model of six types of proactive and reactive strategies, ranging from keeping distance to normalisation of own vulnerability, is utilised in the analysis and discussed in relation to organisational and professional circumstances and intersecting social relations of inequality.Article III, Contact and evaluations of violence: An intersectional analysis of Swedish court orders, examines obstacles to implementation of children’s rights in contested parental contact cases in which there are indications of violence. The analysis shows that the contact presumption is strong, and generally overrides protection. This norm applies even where there are convictions or explicit reports of child abuse or domestic violence. In cases with ‘non-Nordic’ fathers however, the contact presumption is less likely to override protection than in cases with ‘Nordic’ fathers.Article IV, Financial oppression and post-separation child positions in Sweden, deals with post-separation child positions in two domains of practice in the Swedish welfare state: Welfare benefits such as financial aid, and child contact. The area of concern is financial oppression in the context of parental separation. Findings suggest that financial abuse in the context of parental separation is a non-question in the domain of welfare benefits, and in the domain of child contact framed as a conflict between equal parties. The age order as a form of domination may be reinforced by the practice of both domains.
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