Intersectionality in the construction of authority: A systemic supervisor’s perspective

Roman-Morales, Monica (2017) Intersectionality in the construction of authority: A systemic supervisor’s perspective. DSysPsych thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Full text available

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In this study I explore how ethnicity, gender and class are implicated in the construction and performance of authority in the supervisory relationship. Authority is a concept that is used as one of the competences and stances to take as a systemic psychotherapist and systemic supervisor but its meaning has not been enough explained nor deconstructed in the systemic literature. Twelve participants were recruited for the study. The chosen methodology was Grounded Theory. The key findings can be summarised as follows. First, authority is constructed by systemic supervisors upon dominant social constructions in a hierarchical relationship that is gendered, classed and racialised. Second, this study highlights that gender, class and ethnicity are intersectionally implicated in the constructions and performance of authority, rather than operating separately. Third, supervisors use theoretical concepts such as the domains of action in their conceptualization of authority, in order to manage the nuances between holding multiple perspectives and the assertion of their authority. In conclusion, Authority is a gendered, racialised and classed-based construct and thus shapes the influence of how knowledge and expertise is conveyed and received in the supervisory relationship. This construction of authority is embedded in power relationships, which privilege those supervisors that belong to the most hegemonic groups of society: white male middle class; and discriminate minority supervisors accordingly to their intersectionality

Item Type: Thesis (DSysPsych)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of East London in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for the Professional Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Systemic Psychotherapy, Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Social Class, Power Relations
Subjects: Race and Culture > Culture and Psychotherapy
Research, Tests, Assessments > Grounded Theory
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
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