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Anthropology at the Front Lines of Gender-Based Violence

Edited by Jennifer R. Wies and Hillary J. Haldane

Publication Year: 2011

Anthropology at the Front Lines of Gender-Based Violence is a broad and accessible volume, with a truly global approach to understanding the lives of front-line workers in women's shelters, anti-violence organizations, and outreach groups. Often written from a first-person perspective, these essays examine government workers, volunteers, and nongovernmental organization employees to present a vital picture of practical approaches to combating gender-based violence.

Published by: Vanderbilt University Press

Title Page

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pp. iii

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

This volume grew from a conversation in a hotel coffee shop in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2006 during the Society for Applied Anthropology meetings. We were both finishing our dissertations and felt fortunate to connect with another anthropologist committed to the issue of gender-based violence. While the field has grown rapidly in the past few years, our...

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1. Ethnographic Notes from the Front Lines of Gender-Based Violence

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pp. 1-17

Anthropology at the Front Lines of Gender-Based Violence presents anthropologically informed ethnographies of frontline workers in the field of gender-based violence. It explores how hotline counselors, emergency shelter advocates, court advocates, child protection workers, police officers, lawyers, shelter directors, psychologists,...

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2. Disparity in Disasters: A Frontline View of Gender-Based Inequities in Emergency Aid and Health Care

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pp. 19-28

It seemed as though all of Houston was on high alert, anxiously glued to the round-the-clock TV coverage of busloads of Hurricane Katrina evacuees pulling into our convention center in the wee morning hours in early September 2005. As an emergency medical technician (EMT) and an American Red Cross Disaster Health Services volunteer, I drove down ...

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3. Participant and Observer: Reflections on Fieldwork in a Women's Shelter in Tokyo, Japan

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pp. 29-49

This chapter describes the methodology of participant observation and ex-plores how these two aspects of anthropological fieldwork—“participant” and “observer”—become blurred by the stresses of a field setting. I address the premise that one can remain removed and objective as an impartial observer while confronting the everyday issues of fieldwork. I argue that as ...

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4. Crafting Community through Narratives, Images, and Shared Experience

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pp. 50-70

In 1990, five first-generation Indian women and one Bangladeshi woman came together in the San Francisco Bay eastern shore region to help South Asian immigrant women deal with isolation and domestic abuse. By 1992, they formally named their organization Narika, which, in Hindi, means “of and for women,” and offered a weekly support group with funding ...

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5. "We Couldn't Just Throw Her in the Street": Gendered Violence and Women's Shelters in Turkey

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pp. 71-90

In the past two decades, Turkey has made impressive efforts to deal with the problem of violence against women, by strengthening laws to criminalize batterers and developing public and private institutions to assist the victims of domestic violence. The new laws have largely been transplanted from international doctrines, and the institutions have been appropriated ...

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6. Institutional Resources (Un)Available: The Effects of Police Attitudes and Actions on Battered Women in Peru

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pp. 91-106

In 1985, Brazil became the first Latin American country to create women’s police stations specifically to respond to women’s complaints of violence. Research on women’s experiences in Brazil’s police stations suggests that some “police officers responsible for registering and investigating the incidents frequently treated the victims with hostility and indifference” and ...

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7. Child Welfare and Domestic Violence Workers' Cultural Models of Domestic Violence: An Ethnographic Examination

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pp. 107-128

The Violence against Women Act (VAWA), first passed in the United States in 1994 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, and the policy changes that resulted have helped bring public and institutional attention to gender-based violence. An entire network of social services has been created to respond to the issues victims of gender-based violence face. Although most ...

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8. Gender-Based Violence: Perspectives from the Male European Front Line

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pp. 129-138

This chapter is primarily a first-person account of direct service work and an attempt to reflect on motivations and issues encountered. It is secondarily the perspective of one who has created and directed a program for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) who have fled to seek political asylum protection in the United States. This chapter is issued from a...

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9. Cultural Politics of a Global/Local Health Program for Battered Women in Vietnam

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pp. 139-163

As many anthropologists and other scholars have shown, wife battering is a practice that is shaped by complex cultural and social contexts involving historical and modern cultural ideologies, and economic, political, and other social processes (Adelman 2003, 2004; Alonso 2002; Burbank 1994; Erez, Adelman, and Gregory 2009; Gutmann 1996; Hautzinger 2007; ...

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10. Global Civil Society and the Local Costs of Belonging: Defining Violence against Women in Russia

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pp. 165-190

In May 1998, activists from crisis centers all over Russia gathered in Moscow for a conference to discuss the formalization of their thus far loose network into a national association. The conference was a veritable gala. I was stunned to see almost all of my Moscow-based women’s movement acquaintances, as well as representatives of the main international...

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11. Memorializing Murder, Speaking Back to the State

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pp. 191-209

Memorials to women murdered by men have materialized on the Canadian landscape over the past several years, brought into being by groups that usually include relatives, friends, and antiviolence activists.1 Some of these memorials blend gently into the landscape. Others startle when one stumbles upon them unexpectedly (Cultural Memory Group 2006). A few of these ...

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12. Laliti, Compassionate Savior: The Hidden Archaeology of Founding a Shelter

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pp. 211-222

In the Berber dialect spoken in the southern part of Morocco, the word laliti combines two concepts: rescue, in the sense of rain saving the earth—and by extension people—from the devastating consequences of drought; and compassion.1 Laliti is also given as a first name to girls. I distinctly remember how I simply fell in love with the intonation, the singing rhythm ...


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pp. 223-225


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pp. 227-242

E-ISBN-13: 9780826517821
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826517807

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Violence -- Cross-cultural studies.
  • Women -- Violence against -- Cross-cultural studies.
  • Abused women -- Cross-cultural studies.
  • Domestic violence -- Cross-cultural studies.
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