Moral Wages (Paperback)

The Emotional Dilemmas of Victim Advocacy and Counseling

By Kenneth H. Kolb

University of California Press, 9780520282728, 232pp.

Publication Date: July 18, 2014

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/18/2014)

List Price: 29.95*
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Moral Wages offers the reader a vivid depiction of what it is like to work inside an agency that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Based on over a year of fieldwork by a man in a setting many presume to be hostile to men, this ethnographic account is unlike most research on the topic of violence against women. Instead of focusing on the victims or perpetrators of abuse, Moral Wages focuses exclusively on the service providers in the middle. It shows how victim advocates and counselors—who don't enjoy extrinsic benefits like pay, power, and prestige—are sustained by a different kind of compensation. As long as they can overcome a number of workplace dilemmas, they earn a special type of emotional reward reserved for those who help others in need: moral wages. As their struggles mount, though, it becomes clear that their jobs often put them in impossible situations—requiring them to aid and feel for vulnerable clients, yet giving them few and feeble tools to combat a persistent social problem.

About the Author

Kenneth Kolb is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Furman University.

Praise For Moral Wages: The Emotional Dilemmas of Victim Advocacy and Counseling

"A useful contribution to qualitative literature on human service processes and encounters."

— Gale Miller

"I highly recommend this insightful, lyrically crafted study of work in an emotion-laden organization that deals with women victims of interpersonal violence."

— Patricia Yancey Martin

Moral Wages makes an important contribution to research on victim advocacy.”

— Emily Cabaniss & Kris Macomber