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The Social Construction of Aggressive Challenging Behaviours in Women and Men With Learning Disabilities: A Discourse Analysis of Care Staff Explanations of Challenging Behaviour and the Impact of Gendered Discourses.

Wilcox, Esther. (2003) The Social Construction of Aggressive Challenging Behaviours in Women and Men With Learning Disabilities: A Discourse Analysis of Care Staff Explanations of Challenging Behaviour and the Impact of Gendered Discourses. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Using a Foucauidian discourse analysis on the texts of ten interviews with care staff this research explored the discourses used by care staff in constructing the aggressive challenging behaviours of men and women with learning disabilities and discourses differentially used to understand the aggressive challenging behaviour of only one gender. The analysis demonstrated the use of two main discourses, an individual pathology discourse which constructed the behaviour as originating in factors stable and internal to the client and a context discourse which constructed the behaviour as a response to the client's circumstances. Participants used these accounts flexibly within their talk and also used a mixed discourse which constructed the behaviour as due to both individual pathology and context. Despite the staff presenting their understandings as not being affected by the client’s gender, the presence of two gendered individualising discourses within the interviews was also demonstrated. Women’s behaviour, unlike men’s, was constructed with the use of discourses about their menstrual cycle or character flaws. The consequences of the use of these different discourses were discussed, as were the subject positions which they afford for both staff and clients. It is argued that clients are disempowered by the individual pathology discourse, that consideration of the broad contexts within which care staff actions are situated may allow them to manage blame whilst reflecting on their practice and that the impact of gender stereotypes on the understandings staff have of a client’s behaviour should be a legitimate area for consideration in clinical practice. 

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Wilcox, Esther.
Date : 2003
Additional Information : Thesis (Psych.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2003.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 15:43
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:51
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856903

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