Problematisations: Violence intervention and the construction of expertise.

Catherine Seymour

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Foucault's (2007, p. 141) 'history of problematisations' draws attention to the ways in which 'things' become 'problems'. This paper focuses on the dichotomisation and categorisation of violence as either serious/abnormal (non-gendered) violence or 'domestic' (gendered) violence, reflecting the transformation of some forms of violence into problem violence. Evident here, based on the findings of an exploratory study of the ways in which practitioners who work with male perpetrators of violence construct and understand violence, is the creation of particular realms of intervention, divided along disciplinary lines, each associated with distinct domains of knowledge, authority and expertise. In the process certain behaviours are 'claimed' as the 'territory' of a professional group. As Foucault emphasised, 'for knowledge to function as knowledge it must exercise power' (2007, p. 71). Expertise thus performs a powerful exclusionary function, controlling who can speak authoritatively about an issue. I argue that this partitioning of certain behaviours, as representing particular types of problem and particular types of people and the 'territory' of some professional groups and not others, reflects the broader context of (gendered) power and disciplinary knowledge and has significant implications for the ways in which male violence is conceptualised, named and addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFoucault
Subtitle of host publication25 years on
Place of PublicationUnderdale, S.A.
PublisherThe Hawke Institute, University of South Australia
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780868038278
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventConference hosted by the Centre for Post-Colonial and Globalisation Studies - University of South Australia, Magill, S.A., Australia
Duration: 25 Jun 2009 → …


ConferenceConference hosted by the Centre for Post-Colonial and Globalisation Studies
Period25/06/09 → …

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