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Domestic Violence

Methodologies in Dialogue

Chitra Raghavan

Publication Year: 2013

This volume introduces and critiques the various methodologies employed in current research on domestic violence. By discussing different methodologies side by side as they are applied to the same aspect of domestic violence, and by examining diverse populations (including international samples and sexual minorities), the editors provide insight into the political, sociological, and psychological tensions that influence our understanding of domestic violence. In an integrative pedagogical style, they demonstrate how methods, results, and interpretative frames inform current debates in this field, and how such debates further affect researchers' agendas and preferences. Finally, building on these insights, the book provides readers with a broad and balanced approach to selecting the most appropriate methodology for their inquiries, given the wide range of advantages and shortcomings.

Developed for classroom use at both introductory and more advanced levels, each chapter is preceded by learning objectives and followed by critical-thinking questions. Each topic concludes with a commentary by the editors that evaluates methodologies by establishing dialogues between them.

Published by: Northeastern University Press

Series: Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xii

This volume brings together various methodologies of inquiry within the social sciences that expose and sensitize students to research, policy, and substantive issues in domestic abuse or intimate partner violence—issues that have a direct impact on people’s lives.* Research in intimate partner violence has—and still is—hotly debated by researchers, policy makers, legislators, and activists. ...

Index of Methodological Approaches by Chapter

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pp. xiii-xiv

Part One: What Is Domestic Violence and How Do We Measure It?

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pp. 1-16

Learning Objectives

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pp. 1-2

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1 | Developing a Self-Report to Assess Partner Violence: Methodological Considerations

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pp. 3-25

Intimate partner violence has proven to be a difficult behavior to measure. It often occurs in private settings, and individuals are reluctant to discuss their experiences with anyone, let alone researchers. Furthermore, the behaviors that comprise it are complex and viewed differently by people depending on their age, socioeconomic status, religion, ethnicity, and culture. ...

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2 | Perceptions of Domestic Violence in Brazil

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pp. 26-40

Violence (from Latin, violentia), refers to the act of violating natural laws in an abusive way, by coercing a particular person into doing something against his or her will. It is a multicausal phenomenon generally manifest through actions that bear the intent of damaging, demeaning, underestimating, and subjugating others, ...

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Commentary, Critical-Thinking Questions, and Advanced Questions

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pp. 41-50

We begin the book with one of the most fundamental questions in intimate partner violence (IPV) research: what is partner violence and how do we measure it? Both chapters in this section consider this same question, albeit from very different perspectives. Cook, Hamby, Stith, McCollum, and Mehne present a positivist measure development and psychometric study, ...

Part Two: Claims about Gender Parity and Domestic Violence: Six Blind Men and an Elephant

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pp. 51-66

Learning Objectives

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pp. 51-52

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3 | Sex Differences in Intimate Partner Abuse Victimization

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pp. 53-78

This chapter contains two parts and works to tease apart different conceptions of physical aggression and intimate partner abuse (IPA) currently found in the violence literature and then tests a popular typology of IPA in divorcing couples (Kelly and Johnson, 2008). For this chapter, the term IPA was chosen because it encompasses the broadest range of harmful behaviors ...

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4 | Do Violent Acts Equal Abuse? Resolving the Gender Parity and Asymmetry Dilemma

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pp. 79-101

This chapter concerns two issues that have become increasingly contentious in the United States and parts of Europe, whether gender matters to the understanding of partner abuse and how it matters. Behind these questions lie two seemingly contradictory findings—that male and female partners appear to use violence in equal numbers ...

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5 | Gender as Ecology: One Understanding of Men’s Use of Violence against Women

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pp. 102-116

Understanding and responding to men’s violence against women has posed significant conceptual and methodological challenges for both researchers and practitioners. Competing explanations for such violence range from theories about individual pathology (e.g., men and women’s psychopathology) to theories about the role of cultural norms and social structures ...

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Commentary, Critical-Thinking Questions, and Advanced Questions

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pp. 117-126

In part 2, the three chapters demonstrate the quest for increasing the sensitivity of current measures of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV) to include the subtle matrix of coercive forces in which they are embedded. Studies of intimate partner violence have consistently suggested that violent acts are just the tip of the iceberg in a coercive relationship. ...

Part Three: Dating Violence among Sexual Minorities

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pp. 127-142

Learning Objectives

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pp. 127-128

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6 | Neighborhood Violence, Peer Networks, and Dating Violence in Urban Sexual Minority College Students

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pp. 129-141

Intimate partner violence (IPV) research has focused largely on understanding the prevalence, risk factors, and consequences of violence occurring between partners in a home. But there has been increasing recognition in the literature that IPV and its effects are not isolated to the relationship in the home. ...

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7 | Exploring Dating Violence among Sexual Minority Youth

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pp. 142-157

Dating violence is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as physical, sexual, or psychological violence that occurs within the context of a dating relationship (CDC, 2006). Research reveals a disturbingly high prevalence of dating violence among U.S. youth (Eaton, Davis, and Barrios, 2007; Howard, Wang, and Yan, 2007; ...

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Commentary, Critical-Thinking Questions, and Advanced Questions

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pp. 158-168

In this section, we focus on the methodological challenges associated with the study of dating violence in sexual minorities. The scientific study of dating violence in these populations has historically been slower, largely because same-sex relationships have not enjoyed the same cultural and legal legitimacy as their heterosexual equivalents. ...

Part Four: Systemic Revictimization

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pp. 169-184

Learning Objectives

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pp. 169-170

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8 | “You Don’t Recognize Me Because I’m Still Standing”: The Impact of Action Research with Women Survivors of Domestic Violence

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pp. 171-199

Gender-based violation of human rights is the greatest human rights scandal of our times (Amnesty International report from 2004, quoted in Evans and Lindsay, 2008, 355). ...

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9 | A Failure to Protect: Resolving the Battered Mother’s Dilemma

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pp. 200-223

On September 11, 1992, based on injuries observed on the hands of seven-year-old Daniel L., the principal of the Sandy Hook school reported a case of suspected child abuse to the Newtown police department and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF). ...

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Commentary, Critical-Thinking Questions, and Advanced Questions

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pp. 224-230

We began chapter 2 with attempts to define domestic/intimate partner violence, and we end this section of the book with a personalized glimpse on how survivors negotiate the legal system and try to end the violence, regain custody of their children, and, despite enormous hurdles, begin new lives. ...


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10 | Publication Trends in Intimate Partner Violence: Bridging the Division in Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

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pp. 233-253

Both qualitative and quantitative methods contribute to research on intimate partner violence (IPV). In this chapter we first report a tabular review of IPV research, focusing on the use of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods.* We then explore the conceptual basis for distinguishing between qualitative and quantitative methods ...

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Domestic Violence Methodologies: Closing Comments

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pp. 254-256

Thus far, the modus operandi of this book has been to present the reader with individual studies and generalize their findings to better understand the phenomenon of intimate partner violence. To take a larger perspective, the commentaries following each chapter contrasted studies that touched on the same phenomenon using different methods. ...


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pp. 257-266

E-ISBN-13: 9781555538316
E-ISBN-10: 1555538312
Print-ISBN-13: 9781555538293

Page Count: 294
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law