The perceptions and experience of male farm workers of the effects of a transpersonal social work intervention in addressing domestic violence

Brophy, Fiona C. (2010-03)

Thesis (M Social Work)--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study is an attempt to gain a deeper understanding, from the perspective and experience of male farm workers, of the effects of a transpersonal social work counselling intervention, on a wine farm in the Western Cape, in promoting more socially functional behaviour and reducing violent behaviour, particularly towards their intimate partners. Domestic violence was found by Parenzee and Smythe (2003:47) of the Institute of Criminality to be “pervasive within farming communities” and that responses are less than adequate, no preventative services were being offered and the only structured interventions that were in place, were aimed at improving the livelihoods of women. There is a growing awareness that addressing the high and increasing levels of violence against women in South Africa needs to incorporate working directly with men as recommended, after local studies, by Sonke Gender Justice Network (2009), Boonzaier (2005), Londt (2004) and Abrahams, Jewkes and Laubsher (1999). A recent study concerning the legacy of dependency and powerlessness experienced by farm workers on wine farms in the Western Cape by Falletisch (2008:v) found there to be a need for “further research into accessible, appropriate and sustainable intervention strategies on farms that empower labourers and break the cycles of habitual excessive drinking, social violence and hopelessness on farms.” Transpersonal intervention enables human beings to attain a sense of Self and the consequent accessing of their own inner power, and with that the dissipation of the compulsion to hurt, control or abuse others and themselves says Hollis (1994) and France (2008). Circumstances that are oppressive, disempowering and poverty inducing, as experienced by a large majority of farm labour in South Africa, may be inhibiting to, but should not preclude, self realisation. The researcher, a social work practitioner in private practice on a wine farm in the Western Cape, applied this approach in a counselling intervention with male farm workers, to enable them to, not only reach their own self-defined goals, but also to reduce abusive behaviour such as alcohol abuse and domestic violence. The effects of the intervention from the perspectives of the men as well as their female partners, was explored in order to determine the effectiveness of the intervention, particularly, in reducing intimate partner violence. The goal of the study was thus to gain a deeper understanding, from the perspective and experience of male farm workers, of the effects of a transpersonal social work intervention in promoting more socially functional behaviour and reducing violent behaviour, particularly towards their intimate partners. There is a dearth of services, particularly addressing male workers on farms says Shabodien (2005) and it is hoped that this study may evaluate the effectiveness and potential for further application in practice amongst farm worker communities in South Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie poog om, vanuit die perspektief van manlike plaaswerkers op ‘n Wes-Kaapse wynplaas, ‘n duideliker begrip te verkry van die invloed van ‘n maatskaplike beradingsintervensie, ter bevordering van groter funksionele sosiale gedrag en die vermindering van geweldadige gedrag, veral teenoor hul intieme lewensmaats. Parenzee en Smythe (2003:47) van die Instituut van Kriminaliteit het bevind dat plaasgemeenskappe deurtrek is van huishoudelike geweld en dat proaktiewe inisiatiewe onvoldoende was. Geen voorkomende dienste anders as gestruktureerde intervensies gemik op die verbetering van die bestaansreg van vroue is in plek. Daar is ‘n toenemende bewustheid om mans te betrek ten einde die tendens van groeiende geweldsvlakke teen vroue in Suid-Afrika aan te spreek, soos trouens ook bevind is deur plaaslike navorsing deur Sonke Gender Justice Network (2009), Boonzaier (2005), Londt (2004) en Abrahams, Jewkes en Laubsher (1999). ‘n Onlangse studie aangaande die nalatenskap van afhanklikheid en magteloosheid ondervind deur plaaswerkers op wynplase in die Wes-Kaap deur Falletisch (2008:v) het bevind dat daar ‘n behoefte is vir “verdere navorsing na toeganklike, toepaslike en volhoubare intervensiestrategieë op plase wat arbeiders bemagtig om die kringloop van gebruiklike oormatige drinkery, maatskaplike geweld en moedeloosheid op plase te breek”. Interpersoonlike intervensies stel die mens in staat om ‘n beeld van die eie self te verkry en die gevolglike bewuswording van hul eie innerlike krag, en met dit die afname van die drang om ander en hulself seer te maak, te oorheers en te mishandel volgens Hollis (1994) en France (2008). Omstandighede wat onderdruk, ontmagtig en armoede tot gevolg het, soos ondervind deur die groter meerderheid van plaasarbeid in Suid-Afrika, mag selfverwesenliking inhibeer, maar nie uitsluit. Die navorser, ‘n maatskaplike praktisyn in private praktyk op ‘n wynplaas in die Wes-Kaap, het hierdie benadering toegepas in ‘n beradingsintervensie met manlike plaaswerkers, om hulle in staat te stel om nie alleen hul eie doelwitte te bereik nie, maar ook onaanvaarbare gedrag soos alkoholmisbruik en huishoudelike geweld te verminder. Die effek van die intervensie, vanuit die perspektief van die mans sowel as dié van hul vroulike lewensmaats, is nagevors ten einde die effektiwiteit van die intervensie te bepaal - veral die vermindering van geweld teenoor die lewensmaats. Die doel van die studie was dus om ‘n dieper begrip te verkry, vanuit die perspektief en ondervinding van manlike plaaswerkers, van die positiewe uitwerking van ‘n interpersoonlike maatskaplike intervensie gemik op die bevordering van meer sosiaal funksionele gedrag en die vermindering van geweldadige gedrag, veral teenoor hul intieme lewensmaats. Daar is ‘n gebrek aan dienste, veral wat manlike werkers op plase aanspreek volgens Shabodien (2005), en word gehoop dat hierdie studie die effektiewiteit en potensiaal vir verdere toepassing in die praktyk onder plaasgemeenskappe in Suid-Afrika mag evalueer.

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