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Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

1988

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Full-Text Articles in Social Work

The Frustrations Of Family Violence Social Work: An Historical Critique, Linda Gordon Dec 1988

The Frustrations Of Family Violence Social Work: An Historical Critique, Linda Gordon

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Contrary to the view that social work has been characterized by substantial shifts in treatment methods over the last hundred years, an historical study of case records from child protection agencies in Boston, 1880 to 1960, revealed very little improvement or change in the social-work response to family violence cases. The continuity in socialwork response rested, at its best, on workers' common-sense apprehension of the complex (intrapsychic, relational, and environmental) causes of family violence, and, at worst, on several constricting ideologies about proper family life: gender assumptions that made women's domesticity and mothering essential; and a public/private dichotomy ...