Dr Allister Butler


Allister Butler  

Dr Allister Butler has worked in various social work capacities (practitioner, researcher, evaluator and academic) in the area of children, youth and families for the past 20 years, both nationally and internationally.

At the end of Dr Butler's undergraduate training he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue his postgraduate education in the United States of America. He has worked in different international settings, namely in South Africa, the United States of America, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Upon completing his PhD in South Africa in 2000, he took up the post as Research Fellow for the University of Plymouth's Health Action Zone Initiative. Thereafter Dr Butler was employed as a senior lecturer in the Department of Social Work at Sheffield Hallam University. One of his tasks was to develop and deliver cross-faulty education around HIV and AIDS for health and social care students. 

Dr Butler has been published in a wide range of specialisms, ranging from young carers, gay and lesbian youth, HIV and AIDS, secondary education and homophobia, adolescent mental health, workforce development and international social work practice. He has been invited as an International Socrates scholar to teach at various higher education institutions in Europe (Sweden, Holland, Denmark and Norway). 

His teaching interests include anti-discriminatory practice, integration and social work practice and theory, homosexuality and homophobia, international social policy, changing paradigms of pedagogy, direct practise with individuals, groups, families and communities, amongst others. 

Dr Butler has held tenure as a Principal Lecturer in Social Work and Programme Director for the MA in Social Work degree at Canterbury Christ Church University (UK). Dr Butler has also held tenure as Associate Professor in Social Work in South Africa. Most recently, Dr Butler was Head of Department, Education and Social Care (FHSCE) at Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge).  

Qualifications

  • PhD in Social Work: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
  • MASW: University of Iowa, USA
  • BASW (Hons) Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
  • Senior Teaching Fellow: Higher Education Academy

Dr Butler has taught on undergraduate, postgraduate and Doctoral courses, and his areas of teaching include international social work practice, anti-oppressive practice, ethics, values and legal context, research methods, adolescent mental health, amongst others.

Research interests

Adolescent homosexual identity formation
Homophobia and heterosexism
International social work practice
Adolescent mental health
Risk and resilience
HIV and AIDS

Areas of Doctoral research supervision

Homophobic crime in Slovenia
BME student social work experiences
Unitary model of social work supervision in Cambridge
Child labour and exploitation in Nigeria

Selected recent publications

  • Butler, A H (2014). Journal Review. Virtual Access: The Ugandan ‘anti-gay’ movement, LGBTI blogging and the public sphere. Journal of East African Studies (2014) 
  • Butler, A H (2012). Book Review. Emerging South African research on gay and lesbian families. C. Lubbe. (2013/ forthcoming). Jacana Publications
  • Butler, A H (2012). Book Review. Counselling Adolescents: The Proactive Approach for Young People. K. Geldard and D. Geldard. 3rd Edition (2012). Sage Publications
  • Butler, A H (2012). Book Review for Times Higher Education. The declining significance of homophobia, by Mark McCormack. July 2012, No. 2,058 pg 52-53. May be viewed on The Times Higher Education website.
  • Butler, A H (2010). Homosexuality is “Un-African”: A contemporary analysis of Human Rights Consequences of being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender of Intersex in Africa. Political Crossroads. Vol 17, Number 2, 2010, pp 43-63 (21). James Nicholas Publishers
  • Butler, A H (2009). A comprehensive evaluation of the South Coast Recovery Centre Addictions Programme. Ramsgate, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. August 2009. Report may be viewed at www.scrc.co.za
  • Butler, A H (2006). A five-year evaluation of the Isle of Wight Young Carers Project. Commissioned evaluation by the IOWYCP and Spurgeons Child Care, South East England Directorate
  • Butler, A H and Astbury, G (2008). The use of defense mechanisms as a precursor to coming out: A South African gay and lesbian youth perspective. Journal of Homosexuality.  Vol 55 (1), pp 1-21
  • Butler, A H and Astbury, G (2006). Navigating institutional homophobia: a challenge for South African social work with gay and lesbian youth. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. In press
  • Moran, A, Nancarrow, S, and Butler, A (2005). “There’s no place like home.” A pilot study of perspectives of international health and social care professionals working in the UK. Australia and New Zealand Health Policy, 2:25
  • Butler, A H and Astbury, G (2005). South African gay and lesbian youth coming out to their families: analysing various decision-making pathways and outcomes. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work. Vol 20, 22-42

 Recent presentations and conferences

  • Butler, A H (2014). Key note speaker at the International DGPPN conference. Symposium: Outness – protective and harmful aspects of mental health in LGBT people. Paper: Being Out in Africa: A contemporary analysis of Human Rights Violations of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People in Africa: Need for Human Rights Education. 26-29 November, 2014. Berlin, Germany
  • Butler, A H (2012). Examining homophobia and heterosexism: An international and European approach to social work practice. INDOSOW International PhD programme. St Polten. Austria. 6-13 June, 2012
  • Butler, A H (2012). Evaluative Research as a Method of Social Work Inquiry. INDOSOW International PhD programme. St Polten. Austria. 6-13 June, 2012
  • Butler, A H (2010). Student recruitment and selection: integral component of social work education and training. Paper presented at the ASASWEI Conference. Social work educators and practitioners: partners in teaching and learning. Cape Town. 26 – 28 September, 2010 
  • Butler, A H (2010). Homosexuality is “un-African”: Teaching social work students in South Africa about homophobia and heterosexism. Paper presented at the International Conference on Human Rights Education. Sydney, Australia. 3 – 6 November, 2010 
  • Butler, A H (2010). Size does not matter: drawing on innovative teaching practices (nationally and internationally). Paper presented at the ASASWEI Conference. Social work educators and practitioners: partners in teaching and learning. Cape Town. 26 – 28 September, 2010. 
  • Butler, A H (2010). Exploring the role of authentic service user and carer involvement in South African social work curriculum: an international reflection on best practice. Paper presented at the ASASWEI Conference. Social work educators and practitioners: partners in teaching and learning. Cape Town. 26 – 28 September, 2010 
  • Butler, A H (2010). Evidence based and evidence informed practice: responding to international trends in social work research training. Paper accepted for presentation at the ASASWEI Conference. Social work educators and practitioners: partners in teaching and learning. Cape Town. 26 – 28 September, 2010 
  • Butler, A H (2010). Social Dissonance as a phase of the coming out process of South African gay and lesbian youth: Guidelines for Mental Health practitioners. Paper presented at the 16th PsySSA conference. Durban, 3–6 August 2010 
  • Butler, A (2006) Positive homosexual identify formation and social work practice: reflections on gay and lesbian youth coming out in post-Apartheid South Africa. Paper presented at the Sexuality in Social Work and Social Care National Conference. South Bank University, 20 October 2006
  • Butler, A (2006) Exploring health care and social work students personal narratives: reflecting on teaching sex and sexuality in tertiary education. Paper presented at the Sexuality in Social Work and Social Care National Conference. South Bank University, 20 October 2006 
  • Butler, A H (2006). Challenging homophobia in South African secondary education: providing safe spaces for gay and lesbian youth. Paper accepted for presentation at the International Safe Communities Conference, Cape Town, South Africa. 9–11 April, 2006 
  • Butler, A H (2005). HIV and AIDS in South Africa: a social work challenge and response. Paper presented at the Faculty of Health Research Seminar Series. Canterbury Christ Church University, 15 June 2005 
  • Butler, A H (2005). Challenges in modernising social work education and training in the United Kingdom: discrete discipline status versus interprofessional and shared leaning. Paper presented at the SixthNational Allied Health Conference. Melbourne, Australia, 23–26 February 2005 
  • Butler, A H (2005). Changing nature of youth citizenship: gay and lesbian youth coming out in post-Apartheid South Africa. Paper presented at Third International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities. University of Cambridge, UK, 2-5 August 2005 
  • Butler, A H (2005).South African gay and lesbian youth: rightful citizens and active participants in nation building and social change. Paper presented at the International Childhoods 2005 Conference. Children and Youth in Emerging and transforming Societies. Oslo, Norway, 29 June–3 July 2005 
  • Butler, A H (2005). A five-year longitudinal study of the Cornwall Young Carers project: planning for the future. Paper presented at the International Childhoods 2005 Conference. Children and Youth in Emerging and transforming Societies. Oslo, Norway, 29 June–3 July 2005

Dr Allister Butler
Head of subject area (Social Work, Community Development and Leadership and Youth)
E: a.butler1@londonmet.ac.uk