• Louise Holst Schmalfeldt
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
In this master thesis, I have examined how the frontline employees' social practice in Denmark, is characterized by working with people with sexual thoughts about children. Frontline employee is a term that covers all employees, there are working directly with people, with sexual thoughts about children. The term `sexual thoughts about children´ covers all people who have a sexual attraction toward children, this includes sexual offenders, people diagnosed with pedophilia, and people, who have thoughts but have never acted on them.
This master thesis is a qualitative study and will include interviews with frontline employees and their perspectives to clarify how they work and what affects their social practice. The perspective of the frontline employees is a central part of the reason for this thesis and therefore also in the creation and approach, to making this possible. The focus might not appear as a social problem, but it becomes a problem in the lack of knowledge and awareness of the field. And because of this people are living with sexual thoughts about children, in shame, and without seeking help. Frontline employees are meeting people without labeling them after Howard Becker’s theory. Labeling is a theory about how society can label individuals as outsiders, and how this affects how they see themselves. People with sexual thoughts about children are a very stigmatized group and there is a society-organized approach to this subject, that is full of hatred, and contempt, and that it is not something to talk about. The labeling of people with sexual thoughts about children can appear arbitrarily because it is often something social groups or society attributes to the person. This makes the frontline employees' work even more difficult because they must normalize talking about thoughts and working on them and thereby increasing the possibility of living a normal human life, with their thoughts being made possible. The master thesis has a social constructivist approach to the field and through the analysis, which is inspired by Berger and Luckmann. My theory for the analysis is inspired by the informants' stories, and therefore Michel Foucault’s theory about the history of sexuality and discourse is included.
I found that the social practice of the frontline employees is affected by the political discourse that is present, which means that the way `sexual thoughts about children´ is spoken about in the public and in Danish society. Furthermore, I found that the frontline employees are lacking education, knowledge, and skills to talk with people, with sexual thoughts about children.
The thesis gives cause to discuss the lack of knowledge in this field and of the frontline employees' social work and the effects thereafter. The thesis should be considered as a part of already existing knowledge, and therefore could be understood as a need for more research and production, in the social work with people who has sexual thoughts about children. It would be preferable to do so from a focal point of the frontline employees' perspective.
Publication date2022
Number of pages75
External collaboratorRed Barnet
Christoffer Borup chbo@redbarnet.dk
ID: 471821171