Heather Fraser

Heather Fraser
Queensland University of Technology | QUT · School of Public Health and Social Work

BSW, M.Pol.Admin, Grad.cert.tert.teach, PhD

About

81
Publications
48,854
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Citations
Introduction
I am a social work educator who teaches courses such as human rights based social work practice and understanding addictions. I'm feminist, critical and interested in critical animal studies as well as topics relating to women, love and abuse. I'm mostly qualitative in orientation and very interested in visual methods.
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - present
Queensland University of Technology
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Master of Social Work Coordinator
July 2017 - December 2017
Flinders University
Position
  • Professor
July 2009 - present
Flinders University
Position
  • Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning

Publications

Publications (81)
Article
Full-text available
Disasters do not just affect humans. And humans do not only live with, care for or interact with other humans. In this conceptual article, we explain how animals are relevant to green and disaster social work. Power, oppression and politics are our themes. We start the discussion by defining disasters and providing examples of how three categories...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the risks associated with doing feminist, multispecies research within the confines of the neoliberal academy, particularly qualitative research about love and abuse. We highlight both the risks to researchers and opportunities to create alliances that pursue transformative social change. Our central argument is that the neo...
Article
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INTRODUCTION: Based on an understanding of links between human- and animal-directed domestic violence, this article: 1) argues for companion-animal inclusive domestic violence service delivery; and 2) reflects on the challenges this offers to social work and the human services.APPROACH: We start by considering the importance of companion animals in...
Article
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This article has been written for qualitative researchers inclined towards in-person, narrative interviewing with members of groups designated ‘inconvenient’ or ‘hard to reach’, about sensitive or controversial topics. The aim is to critically reflect on narrative research interviewing practices we have undertaken in Australia with (1) women who ha...
Technical Report
Full-text available
It is increasingly recognised that many humans enjoy close, meaningful relationships with animal companions. Unfortunately, such relationships can make both humans and animals vulnerable to those who might seek to abuse them. To date, a focus on what is known as ‘the link’ between human and animaldirected abuse has focused almost exclusively on het...
Article
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This article explores the intersections of human and animal lives in the context of violence and marginalisation. It draws on two studies, the first involving a sub-sample of 23 open-ended survey responses completed by transgender and non-binary (TNB) people taken from a larger study exploring the intersections of animal- and human-directed violenc...
Article
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This paper explores different conceptions of cruelty and kindness as they relate to the Australian dairy industry. Findings are drawn from the Dairy Farming Wellbeing Project: 2017- 18, which we affectionately call The Cow Project (also see thecowproject.com.au).1 Funded by Animals Australia, this study was designed to consider the many issues affe...
Article
Purpose: Most women who serve time in prison will eventually be released and expected to reintegrate back into society. To maximize the chances of success, careful support is usually required. An example of this support work was the Healthy Relationships Program (HRP, 2016) offered to women inmates of the Adelaide Women's Prison (South Australia)...
Article
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Extensive literature reveals the many health benefits animal companions can bring to the humans who live with them. However, much of this work has taken place with heterosexual and cisgender populations. To address this gap, we conducted qualitative interviews with 19 trans and cisgender women of diverse sexualities in Australia who reported having...
Chapter
As we explained in the earlier chapters of this book, we are equally concerned about animal and human victims/survivors of domestic violence. This means that just as we pay attention to the impact of domestic violence on humans, we also have to pay attention to its impact on companion animals. In earlier chapters we explored links between how both...
Book
In this book, Nik Taylor and Heather Fraser consider how we might better understand human-animal companionship in the context of domestic violence. The authors advocate an intersectional feminist understanding, drawing on a variety of data from numerous projects they have conducted with people, about their companion animals and links between domest...
Chapter
In this opening chapter we explain why we have focused this book on human and companion animal relationships in the context of domestic violence. We briefly introduce the reader to the projects that we have conducted that we draw on throughout this book to illustrate the potential power of companion animal relationships. We show that for many abuse...
Chapter
Taking centre stage in this chapter are stories about women and companion animals being dominated and abused by ‘loved ones’ and seeking refuge in each other through their own interspecies relationships of empathic love. Close-up examples of abuse are provided from the Loving You, Loving Me study involving nine individual interviews conducted in th...
Chapter
In this chapter we outline the scale of domestic violence including the relatively little that is known about animals’ experiences of it. We acknowledge the complexity of domestic violence, before considering the links between love, loyalty, and abuse. We note that they often coexist for all those—human and animal—experiencing domestic violence. Fo...
Chapter
In this chapter we detail the methods we used for the research that underpins this book. We start by outlining one of our research projects central to much of the data presented in the book Loving You, Loving Me: Companion Animals and Domestic Violence. We then discuss some of the theoretical, methodological, ethical, and personal issues raised for...
Chapter
Escape, refuge, and recovery are the themes of this chapter. We demonstrate how victims/survivors manage to escape domestic violence in their homes and how they try to recover from the violence and rebuild their lives with the support of others. Because participants stressed the importance of housing, we pay attention to their attempts to find alte...
Chapter
In this book we have considered how human-animal companionship in the context of domestic violence might be better understood. Most importantly this has involved advocating for an intersectional feminist understanding of domestic violence inclusive of species concerns. Part of this has involved us arguing for a new iteration of The Link, one that a...
Article
Visual methods offer social scientists some promising possibilities for valuing the work of women and animals in domestic homes and formal organizations, such as schools, hospitals, residential care facilities and other workplaces. In this article, we consider how visual methods might be used to ‘put women and animals in the frame’. We draw data an...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on a thematic analysis of open-ended questions about how humans respond to violence directed towards animals in the context of violent human relationships, derived from an Australian-UK survey of people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. From the 137 responses, three major themes were identified (1) Animals are an important...
Article
Full-text available
A significant body of research in the field of human-animal studies has focused on animals who live alongside humans within the home, with such animals often considered family members. To date, however, this research has focused almost exclusively on the experiences of heterosexual cisgender people, overlooking other diverse genders and/or sexualit...
Article
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Over the past three decades, a growing body of research has focused on experiences of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) among people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. Missing, however, has been a focus on what is known as “the link” between DVA and animal cruelty with regard to people of diverse genders and/or sexualities. The present article...
Book
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In Understanding Violence and Abuse, Heather Fraser and Kate Seymour examine violence and abuse from an anti-oppressive practice perspective and make connections between interpersonal violence and structural, institutional and cultural violence. Using case studies from Canada, the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Bangladesh, India and elsewhere, the auth...
Article
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INTRODUCTION: Empathy is associated with engagement, compassion, social support and emotional sensitivity, and it is a hallmark of good social work practice. Empathy rightfully receives much attention in social work practice, however, interspecies empathy has yet to be included. This article has been written to address this gap.METHODS: Two main re...
Article
Companion animals play an important role in many human's lives, including many Australian social workers and clients. Yet Australian social work has been slow to address the burgeoning area of human-animal studies. In this embryonic research, we focus on women's close relationships with companion animals and some of the broad implications this has...
Chapter
This chapter explores condoned animal abuse in the slaughterhouse and food production processes. Through a consideration of extant ethnographic research with slaughterhouse workers, the authors assess the ways in which the killing of other animals for meat becomes normalised through various institutional and cultural practices which, in large part,...
Article
Full-text available
The link between domestic violence and animal abuse has now been well established, indicating that where there is one form of abuse, there is often the other. Research on this link, however, has almost exclusively focused on heterosexual cisgender people's relationships. Lacking, then, is an exploration of the possibly unique links between domestic...
Article
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This paper reports on our use of a two-phased, feminist memory work in a project conducted with 11 women, social science students at an Australian university. We begin by describing government-led attempts to widen participation in Australian universities because 10 of the 11 women who participated in our project were from non-traditional backgroun...
Article
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This article contributes to social work methodological discussions by examining narrative feminist research in action. Our discussion considers our conceptualization and use of narrative feminist research, which is appreciative of intersectionality. We draw illustrative examples from four projects: (1) In the Name of Love, Women’s Narratives of Lov...
Article
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Previous research has consistently found that transgender women experience high levels of domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Yet to date no studies have explored the efficacy of training workshops aimed at increasing the capacity of service providers to meet the needs of transgender women. This paper reports on findings from one such workshop devel...
Chapter
Gendered time refers to the historical and contemporary conceptualization and valuing of time in men and women's actual and symbolic lives.
Book
This book employs an an intersectional feminist approach to highlight how research and teaching agendas are being skewed by commercialized, corporatized and commodified values and assumptions implicit in the neoliberalization of the academy. The authors combine 50 years of academic experience and focus on species, gender and class as they document...
Article
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In this article, we report on a feminist memory work project conducted with 11 working-class women in Australia. Participants responded to the question: what helps and hinders working-class women study social science degrees? The women confirmed that to succeed at university, they needed opportunities, resources, support and encouragement. We calle...
Chapter
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In this chapter, we discuss aspects of our experience as working-class feminists employed in nonmainstream areas of the social sciences in a publicly funded Australian university. We explain our intersectional understanding of privilege and oppression, particularly as it relates to human–animal studies, our main area of research. We argue that alth...
Chapter
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The themes of oppression, privilege, and solidarity continue in this chapter as we discuss how neoliberalism impacts on the way research is undertaken, evaluated, and esteemed within the academy and (increasingly corporatized) public health, education, and welfare. While our focus is on same-sex abuse and housing issues, it is part of a broader dis...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this first chapter, we explore some of the foundational concepts for this book. We start by outlining the impacts of the neoliberalization of the academy and advance our central argument: that such impacts go beyond the interpersonal or the administrative to determine the very generation and dissemination of knowledge itself. Drawing on our own...
Chapter
Full-text available
While we are critical of the many negative effects of the process of marginalization, particularly its tendency to render important topics trivial, we nevertheless note that solidarity is sometimes produced among people whose topics, methods, and/or theoretical approaches are marginalized. Solidarity, or the collective feeling of unity, can expand...
Chapter
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Living on the margins is the theme of this fifth chapter. We extend out from universities to consider research done with those who dwell at the margins; research that by being oriented toward critical commentary on the way marginalized and/or oppressed groups and individuals are treated is itself considered marginal. For these same reasons, it also...
Chapter
Full-text available
Throughout this book, we have explored the consequences of neoliberalism on and in academia, primarily in terms of how it affects the kinds of knowledge produced and valued. We have used our own experiences of producing marginalized work that advocates for oppressed groups (other species, women, and those who are part of the working class) to argue...
Book
This book employs an an intersectional feminist approach to highlight how research and teaching agendas are being skewed by commercialized, corporatized and commodified values and assumptions implicit in the neoliberalization of the academy. The authors combine 50 years of academic experience and focus on species, gender and class as they document...
Article
Why should social workers care about vaginal fistulas? Why should we turn our attention to a health problem mostly experienced by materially impoverished young Black women, especially those in Africa? Using a critical perspective, which we define, we argue that vaginal fistulas are much more than a gynaecological health issue but symptomatic of the...
Article
Some interventions by social workers, teachers and parents take time to develop but can produce, in the longer term, powerful and unexpectedly positive results. We were reminded of this in 2013, when we undertook a small qualitative study where we used feminist memory work to explore the experiences of 11 women from low socio-economic backgrounds s...
Article
Full-text available
A quick Google images search shows hooligans as rough young males who swear, sneer, fight and get in trouble with the police. According to the stereotype they are often known as violent, anti-social troublemakers, particularly in large football crowds, who speak without grace, sensitivity or diplomacy.
Chapter
Full-text available
The aim of this chapter is to consider some of the emotional and political complexities of using narrative research to show some of the reactions to, and impact of violence, especially for women. Specifically, we focus on the potential influence of researchers’ responses to participants’ stories. We tell the tale of two feminist social work researc...
Article
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Animals are increasingly being used in a range of social work settings and extant research demonstrates they can offer a wide range of benefits to humans. With other professions, social work is oriented towards caring for people but does not officially recognise (non-human) animals. Given the rise in animal-related interventions and emergence of ve...
Article
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This is a report on how (pro)feminist social workers might use the qualitative research methodology, memory work. The first section acknowledges the pioneering work of Frigga Haug in the conception and use of memory work and considers the underlying assumptions of the methodology and prescribed uses of the method. In the second section, we use a re...
Article
Full-text available
Social service providers, policy makers and researchers are increasingly 'targeting the hard to reach'. Ostensibly, targeting the hard to reach appears to be an innocuous and logical, if not laudable goal. From a critical social work perspective, however, it may be seen to pose some hazardous possibilities for oppressed and stigmatised groups, part...
Article
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Participation in the predominantly female voluntary social services is the norm that most workers expect, but little is known about how participation plays out in the circumscribed realities of managerialism and outsourcing. This paper asserts that there are three kinds of overlapping participative processes in the voluntary social services: (1) pr...
Article
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Love, shame and intimate abuse are often connected to one another through a web of complex emotions, beliefs, experiences, perceptions and stories. in this article I consider how love and shame may converge for women victims/survivors of intimate abuse. While the work draws on data produced through 84 qualitative interviews, the central aim is to e...
Article
• Summary: For new social work researchers — especially those committed to using research to create a better society — research can entail a daunting series of challenges. In this article I review some of the lessons I have learned from the research I have undertaken over the last two decades, including those associated with, getting started; creat...
Book
Although love is the hallmark of humanity, it is not widely discussed in social work and other related professions with respect to its potential connection to abuse. In this groundbreaking book the author argues that, while love and abuse should not co-exist, they often do. Using a feminist narrative approach, stories about love, abuse, and social...
Article
Although questions about why so many women “love to love” and why some stay with abusive lovers may seem clichéd, they are questions over which many people still muse. Using a collage of ideas drawn from a wide range of sources, including 83 narrative feminist interviews that were conducted from 2000 to 2004, I respond to these questions, trying to...
Article
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This paper explores some of the politics of community work by examining four basic community participation approaches. Moving from the right of politics to the left, it overviews some of the different theoretical orientations, goals, processes and recruitment practices that are commonly used but not always recognized to constitute different forms o...
Article
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This article seeks to contribute to discussions about how narrative analysis might be undertaken. I do this by exploring one method of narrative approach to analyse personal stories. Before considering some of the issues associated with narrative research, I comment on the rise of the ‘narrative moment’. I then provide ways to conceptualize narrati...
Article
In this article, I use discourse analysis to explore the relationship between love and abuse. I argue that Anglo‐American social work has been reticent to theorize love; and that when it does, the borders separating love from abuse are usually assumed to be relatively stable and readily apparent. After nominating some of the reasons for and...
Article
This article has been designed to stimulate discussion about romantic love. Despite appearing to be a rather peculiar topic for social workers to contemplate, the author contends that romantic love may be an important site for social work intervention, particularly when working with young women residing within the substitute care system. Findings g...
Article
This paper is focussed on domestic violence and its effects on children. After considering the gendered dimensions of domestic violence and some key issues associated with shame, blame and responsibility, the author considers how children's interests might be recognised in ways which do not further victimise women. An account of the common effects...

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Projects

Projects (10)
Project
We are investigating the roles, place and meaning of nonhuman animals in the lives of LGBTQI+ people.