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‘In this job, you cannot have time for family’: Work–family conflict among prison officers in Ghana

Akoensi, Thomas D. (2017) ‘In this job, you cannot have time for family’: Work–family conflict among prison officers in Ghana. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 18 (2). pp. 207-225. ISSN 1748-8958. E-ISSN 1748-8966. (doi:10.1177/1748895817694676) (KAR id:60592)

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Abstract

This paper documents the experience of work-family conflict (WFC) among prison officers in Ghana. Although the term WFC has been used in relation to prison officers in the UK (Crawley, 2002) and the US (Triplett et al., 1999), the context of WFC in Ghana is unusual. In this predominantly collectivist culture, family responsibilities include obligations to the extended family. WFC is mainly unidirectional, with interference running from work to the family. Officers are thus impaired in fulfilling their family responsibilities, which consequently impairs their daily work and mental well-being. The ‘crisis controlling’ or ‘paramilitary’ organisational structure of the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) makes it very difficult for the work domain of prison officers to accommodate family responsibilities. Female officers appear to bear a heavier WFC burden than male officers, mainly on account of their traditionally unpaid housekeeping role in addition to their paid employment in a masculine organisational culture. The findings are significant, as they show that the promulgation of family-friendly policies to alleviate WFC-associated stress lies in the hands of the GPS, since WFC emanates solely from the work domain.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1748895817694676
Uncontrolled keywords: work-family conflict and facilitation, prison officers, job stress, Ghana
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Thomas Akoensi
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2017 12:36 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:43 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/60592 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Akoensi, Thomas D.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5072-2576
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