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I joined Queen’s University Belfast in August 2014 having previously lived and worked in England, Greece, USA and Canada. Additionally, I have engaged in collaborative projects in Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Norway, Turkey, India among other countries. I have a long-standing interest in addressing social problems through a social and economic justice framework which led in part to my studying sociology at York University, Canada for my first degree (1990). I then moved to the USA, University of Minnesota, Duluth to take a postgraduate degree in social work. I qualified as a social worker in 1993 and worked in various settings. I was awarded a PhD in 2003 from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece for exploring issues of teenage relationship violence that Greek high school female students face. My work has informed teenage relationship abuse prevention programs implemented in Greek high schools. Additionally, my research along with my professional experience has also led to my appointment as an independent gender violence country expert for Greece by the European Commission. I have a range of research interests particularly: 1. Gender based violence, including teenage relationship abuse/dating violence in both heterosexual and same sex relationships, domestic abuse, femicides/domestic homicides, sex trafficking, violence that women engaging in prostitution face, etc. 2. The neoliberal transformation of the welfare state, austerity measures and the response of the social work profession. 3. International social work. My research is informed by critical social theory. I welcome PhD students in any of the above areas.
As far as my professional experience, I consider myself a generic social worker. I have a diverse range of professional experience in a variety of settings, such as school, prison and community and with both adults and children/young people. I have worked with (ex) offenders, perpetrators and survivors of domestic violence, refugees and asylum seekers, etc. I have worked both as a frontline practitioner and as a manager. Additionally, I have held posts as the director of a gender studies unit, the director of community development and equal opportunities as well as the planning director of fighting social exclusion in various academic and other professional settings. In general, my academic and practice experience which ranges more than 25 years is underpinned by a strong commitment to social justice and social change as entailed in the global definition of social work.
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
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Speake, J. & Pentaraki, M., 22 Jul 2022, (Early online date) In: Cities and Health. 17 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
COVID-19 response – lessons learned: challenging the neoliberal TINA discourse through social work educationPentaraki, M., 04 Jan 2022, (Early online date) In: Social Work Education.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile60 Downloads (Pure)
Grassroots solidarity structures in Greece as counterhegemonic practices contesting the dominant neoliberal hegemonyPentaraki, M. & Speake, J., 31 May 2022, In: Human Geographies. 16, 1, p. 5-21 17 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile
McCartan, C., Byrne, J., Campbell, J., Coogan, D., Davidson, G., Hayes, D., Kirwan, G., MacDonald, M., McCaughren, S., McFadden, P., McGregor, C., Montgomery, L., Pentaraki, M., Roddy, S., Roulston, A., Shore, C. & Wilson, E., 01 Mar 2022, In: Social Work Education: the international journal. 41, 2, p. 228-247 20 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile283 Downloads (Pure)
The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Young Women’s Educational Well-Being: A Systematic Review of LiteratureKlencakova, L., Pentaraki, M. & McManus, C., 11 Dec 2021, In: Trauma, Violence, and Abuse.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile303 Downloads (Pure)
Maria Pentaraki (Advisor)15 Mar 2021
Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talkFile
Maria Pentaraki (Member of the organising committee)07 Jan 2021
Activity: Participating in or organising an event types › Participation in conference