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Differential forms of probation work and the young black offender : an ethnographic examination.

Denney, David (1989) Differential forms of probation work and the young black offender : an ethnographic examination. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94302) (KAR id:94302)

Language: English

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This thesis seeks to examine the contention that probation officers' racist attitudes may have a differential affect on the type of service offered to black offenders with whom they come into contact.

The previous research in this area is described, and examined critically, with particular attention being directed towards the methodological orientations of the previous studies.

A qualitative methodology is described and justified in relation to this research. It is argued that an ethnographic approach has important advantages when attempting to understand the nature of probation officer offender relations.

Explanations given by probation officers to account for black and white offending are examined comparatively. The most frequently occurring forms of explanations are analysed qualitatively.

Social work practice is considered in relation to recommendations made in social enquiry reports. Differences between assessment, the day to day work undertaken, and evaluation of practice are examined in relation to black and white offenders.

The findings are then considered in the light of a number of theoretical frameworks, drawing on literature within the sociology of culture, subculture, race relations, and socio-linguistics. Concepts relating to the differential treatment of developed in the context black offenders by white of the research findings.

The thesis ends with a consideration of the implications of the findings for future developments in probation practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94302
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Race and probation practice
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2023 11:20 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 11:20 UTC
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