Gender and Groupwork

Gender and Groupwork

Gender and Groupwork

Gender and Groupwork

Synopsis

"Gender and Groupwork brings together the best of groupwork knowledge, skills and values, describing innovative work with older women, those facing inequalities in health care, homeless people, care-givers, lesbian and gay youth, and victims of domestic violence. "Gender and Groupwork demonstrates that an awareness of gender issues can enrich the work of all practitioners.

Excerpt

Audrey Mullender and Marcia B. Cohen

This book has had a long gestation. the idea for it first arose ten years ago when women's groups were plentiful and both groupwork and feminist practice were at the core of the social work curriculum. It seemed natural, then, to conceive of a book that would help groupworkers develop awareness and skill in handling the gender issues in their practice, and that would, at the same time, strengthen in the literature on gender a particularly important way of working with women to change their lives. It was to have been a single-authored work but, for various reasons (chiefly competing research priorities), that book did not get written and the idea was laid to rest. Only when we discovered how fruitful our collaboration could be (Cohen and Mullender 2000), and explored our shared interests in women's issues, as well as in groups, was the project reborn - this time as one we decided to undertake together as editors of a collection that would explore whether 'gender and groupwork' still has meaning in the twenty-first century.

Immediately, a new set of challenges was created. a transatlantic co-operation would mean writing for two different audiences, and this has meant persuading the publisher to allow this book to be 'bi-lingual', by which we mean that it alternates between uk and us use of English (spelling, punctuation, grammar and expression - reviewers please note that variant styles are not uncorrected errors!). Most centrally, even 'groupwork' (UK) or 'group work' (USA) is written in two different ways throughout the book, depending on the provenance of any particular chapter. We have compromised on uk style for the introductory and concluding chapters, in recognition of our London-based publishing house. But, of course, the two nations that straddle the Atlantic are divided by more than a common language (to paraphrase the aphorism attributed to Winston Churchill and echoing similar thoughts of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell and Dylan Thomas in the uk and Mark Twain in the USA). Groups have developed their own body of literature and practice wisdom in the two countries, although it has been interesting to note the transferability of practice skills and values (and similarly with the excellent Canadian and Australian contributions to this volume). Contributors have written from their own experiences and perspectives, in their own national context. the concluding chapter will attempt to pull together our ideas about where this leaves us.

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