Author: Kwan, Vivien
Title: Experience of the oppressed : the case of frontline female social workers in social service agencies with patriarchal culture
Degree: DSW
Year: 2017
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Social workers -- China -- Hong Kong
Women -- Employment
Sex role in the work environment
Sex discrimination in employment
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: 241 pages
Language: English
Abstract: Summary: Patriarchal culture has permeated the social service agency in recent years. This brings out attitudes and behaviours associated with masculinity, thereby leading to managerialism which is combined with the traditional discourse of women that predominantly features social work carrying feminine qualities and female social workers always have an advantage to exercise professional autonomy. Feminist perspectives are identified to analyze the oppression of female social workers. Findings: By using the in-depth interview method of qualitative research to reconstruct the discourse of female social workers in different social service agencies, this study attempts to observe the life of 10 female social workers to listen to their stories and understand their experience in their private and public spheres. The findings show that female social workers bear multiple burdens because of the fact that constructed hidebound gender ideology is unfavourable for working women, especially for those with kids. Second, an implicit patriarchal culture that creates managerialism in the social service field discourages female social workers from staying in the work organization. Third, some female social workers may not be aware of gender equality issues which are prevalent in the private and public sectors. At last, these realities are socially constructed, which constructs barriers to gender equality. Applications: These findings provide an overview of the gender study to understand the reasons why female social workers are oppressed, thus affecting the origins and nature of social work. Different suggestions are also provided in this study, including women's voices, which are expressed openly with regard to resisting the generalization of women, redefining of care to deconstruct an ideology of care in people's minds. The study also calls upon the government's role to bring out a gendered perspective that strives for communal social systems to support egalitarian relationship.

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