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Viljen til at frigøre. En undersøgelse af empowerment i praksis

Wright Nielsen, Tabitha LU (2009) In Lund Dissertations in Social Work 35.
Abstract
Empowerment is a concept and a method in social work associated with liberation from oppression. Some paradoxes inherent in the concept and method of empowerment, however, lead to questioning the contradiction between freedom and force that is usually framed by “empowerment”. This dissertation investigates how empowerment is created in a concrete language and an integration project directed towards a group of women with refugee and immigrant background. The Project was part of the Equal Program under the European Social Fund. Departing from the paradoxes characterizing empowerment, the principal research questions of the dissertation are: How is empowerment created in the Project? What shall practices of empowerment create? The... (More)
Empowerment is a concept and a method in social work associated with liberation from oppression. Some paradoxes inherent in the concept and method of empowerment, however, lead to questioning the contradiction between freedom and force that is usually framed by “empowerment”. This dissertation investigates how empowerment is created in a concrete language and an integration project directed towards a group of women with refugee and immigrant background. The Project was part of the Equal Program under the European Social Fund. Departing from the paradoxes characterizing empowerment, the principal research questions of the dissertation are: How is empowerment created in the Project? What shall practices of empowerment create? The dissertation demonstrates that empowerment as the will to liberate, cannot be understood as a liberating method. Rather it has to be understood as a form of power aiming to create certain subjects corresponding to the objective of the making of empowerment. In other words, liberation cannot be derived from an essential meaning. The meaning of liberation receives a specific meaning from the institutional context within which it takes place and are being made. Based on the French philosopher Michel Foucault’s concept of power, I employ a perspective of power analysis, within which empowerment is perceived as a productive power, and the subjectivity of the individual is seen as an object of power. Empowerment becomes a way to govern to change and create subjects in accordance with its own objective. The analysis of empowerment hence turns into an investigation of empowerment as a form of productive power, and addresses the question of how empowerment is created, and what it itself creates. The Dissertation shows that the problematization of the women, which is the precondition for empowerment, is principally, based on culture. When the will to liberate is about liberation from a culture, the women are created as deviating from a Swedish norm. Empowerment frames the individual or the group in a specific way, whereby other conditions that can have importance for their situation as a marginalized group are foreclosed. The will to liberate in this way risks becoming an empowerment space that itself sustains the inequality from which it was intended to liberate. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Andersen, John, Roskilde Universitetscenter
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Social Work, Subjektivation, Power, Empowerment, Normalization
in
Lund Dissertations in Social Work
volume
35
pages
232 pages
publisher
Socialhögskolan, Lunds universitet
defense location
Edebalksalen
defense date
2009-04-17 10:15
ISSN
1650-3872
ISBN
978-91-89604-42-1
language
Danish
LU publication?
yes
id
65e004c1-6b9a-4527-af20-fa9a5b186ccc (old id 1365615)
date added to LUP
2009-03-27 09:21:25
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:46
@phdthesis{65e004c1-6b9a-4527-af20-fa9a5b186ccc,
  abstract     = {Empowerment is a concept and a method in social work associated with liberation from oppression. Some paradoxes inherent in the concept and method of empowerment, however, lead to questioning the contradiction between freedom and force that is usually framed by “empowerment”. This dissertation investigates how empowerment is created in a concrete language and an integration project directed towards a group of women with refugee and immigrant background. The Project was part of the Equal Program under the European Social Fund. Departing from the paradoxes characterizing empowerment, the principal research questions of the dissertation are: How is empowerment created in the Project? What shall practices of empowerment create? The dissertation demonstrates that empowerment as the will to liberate, cannot be understood as a liberating method. Rather it has to be understood as a form of power aiming to create certain subjects corresponding to the objective of the making of empowerment. In other words, liberation cannot be derived from an essential meaning. The meaning of liberation receives a specific meaning from the institutional context within which it takes place and are being made. Based on the French philosopher Michel Foucault’s concept of power, I employ a perspective of power analysis, within which empowerment is perceived as a productive power, and the subjectivity of the individual is seen as an object of power. Empowerment becomes a way to govern to change and create subjects in accordance with its own objective. The analysis of empowerment hence turns into an investigation of empowerment as a form of productive power, and addresses the question of how empowerment is created, and what it itself creates. The Dissertation shows that the problematization of the women, which is the precondition for empowerment, is principally, based on culture. When the will to liberate is about liberation from a culture, the women are created as deviating from a Swedish norm. Empowerment frames the individual or the group in a specific way, whereby other conditions that can have importance for their situation as a marginalized group are foreclosed. The will to liberate in this way risks becoming an empowerment space that itself sustains the inequality from which it was intended to liberate.},
  author       = {Wright Nielsen, Tabitha},
  isbn         = {978-91-89604-42-1},
  issn         = {1650-3872},
  keyword      = {Social Work,Subjektivation,Power,Empowerment,Normalization},
  language     = {dan},
  pages        = {232},
  publisher    = {Socialhögskolan, Lunds universitet},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Dissertations in Social Work},
  title        = {Viljen til at frigøre. En undersøgelse af empowerment i praksis},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2009},
}