soc244- lc - nov 15 2011
Part 1: Violence in Families
Part 2: Divorce and the Breaking of Families
Part 1: Violence in Families
- Woman abuse - the misuse of power, the loss of dignity the feeling of powerlessness, persistent
threat, being forced to watch violence to your children.
- domestic violence: the misuse of power and control. Family consequences of the lives of
women and children who are growing up in these types of households.
- difficult for institutions .
- evolutionary theorists: violence used as strategy to reinforce that control in that relationship.
- resource theorists - in the ultimate resource man have in terms of controlling their partners.
- general system theorists- we don't really punish violence that occurs within a family.
- men tend to think of women as sexual and their property - they own and they can exchange**
what men think from gartner dawson & crawford - they also say this is extreme manifestation - of
this tendency to view people as property - when you approve of people as property - in this case
you are dealing with women - that can be used by another group. Violence is a means of control -
- - women are also likely to kill their partners after prolonged exposure to violence and violence
on their children as well.
- about 16% separated spouses- being separated is a key variable in violence. In African
American women - high level of violence.
- political disadvantages are associated of high levels of homicide. (murder)
-women are more likely to be victims of homicide.
- very good article - marvis MORTON - theorizes violence against women. page 298- 301 - mirco
- in individual, meso - groups particular groups of individuals, amd marco - large group - how the
sociological lens is use to study a particular social phenomenon.
- the history of family violence and the structure and beliefs nad values that sustain family
violence has a very long history - in family life.
HISTROY OF FAMILY VILENCE: wekaest and less power are more subject to house abuse.
- they write that in 2500 BC a man beat his wife - women in the middle ages- were hurt for
committing adultery, and nagging etc, so there was this social acceptance of violence within the
family( from textbook) the use of children was not seen as abuse - rather it was seen as this is the
parents right to discipline their child - men as the head of the household were seen as needed to
control their household unit. Western beliefs spoke about beating the child to discipline them.
So violence historically has been seen as normal.
-sociological theories tended to be used more when looking at family violence nad are cause by
psychological disorders - have to look at larger external issues.
Macro level theories: the economic exclusion theory ** - this theory looks at economic variables
- why do female housing experience more violence than women in the general public - look at
male exclusion in industrializing the economy.
- male feel isolate d- they are unable to fulfill their roles as the male wag earner - so as the
economy shifts - men are displaced - families moving into social housing and ther poverty - they
are unable to fulfil their roles are breadwinners os feelings of inadequacy and high levels of stress
manifest within the family and result in violence. your tendency to socialize with other men who
have the same social expiernces and values in crease this tension.
it shows hte link between economic factors- male support - and poverty - social isoltation - to
whats happening in the families is tied to whats happening in the family - for eg, unemployment
is raised. Social Learning theory - mid level theory - states that growing up in an abusive fmailie s-
socializes children to behave the same ** - vioelnce becomes rationalized and normalized nad
becomes part and parcel of the family unit. Starus - Murray writes: families actually train people
to be violent this is why violence over time is looked upon as normla. it is the sexist nature of the
family itself - which places the male at the top and everyone else at the bottom - the link between
love and violnce - is a deeply learned pattern. and its a learning that continues for 18 - 19 years -
so long as your in that household watching particular interaction eg, phsyical punishment towards
children - its doen out of love and concern and teaches the child that those who love you will hit
social interaction vantage point - looking at the interaction that is happening between the husband
and the wif e- the abuser and the one being abuse - the nature of the relationship of the husband
and the wif e- they are not looking at individual and large narratives - but whats going on in the
relationships between the husband and the wife that is leading to the manifestation of vioelnce
within that paritcular relationship.
Symbolic interaction: how do yuo as an individual interpret what happened - as opposed to other
memebrs of your family the focus is on the perceptions on vioelce.
from reading: they interview 122 soctissh men - other looking at 20 married couple s- both looke
dat the way invidiuals interprtated acts of violcne - they did it by ignoring it or rationalizing it -
for eg, they couldnt control their temper etc. how do they fit paritcular acts in to our beliefs
system s- how are they constructed using socially accepted beliefs system.
Feminst theories - how women interpert and justify being part of these tpyes of relationships.
very much filled in women paritcipating in society increasing education etc. Second wave
feminsts mostly looked at vioelcne and power and how it plays it our in womens context of the
family and their daily life. looking at the unequal dimnesion of power - women within families
they are not just one peroson expierning this paritcular vioelnce - ther ar emany women expiering
verysimilar circumstance sthis sort of connection in the 1970s - lead to the Shelt movement - in
the 1980s - lead to a lesser extent of child abuse and recognizing that there should be a safe place
for women to turn to when they want to leave their relatinships.
reference study: by TOTTEN: llooking atm ale youth between 14 - 17 , a 2000 study - a group of
men - they tend to be economically and socially marginal - for the most part they had patriarchal
views - very stereotpyical notions of women and the way they treaed their girlfirnds and found
that these particular young men - were very homophobic, patrirarchal - and they themselves had
also expiernced abuse as children - but witnessed abuse for eg, their mothers suffere d- it shows
the link between low levels of educationa nd unemployment and this hypoconsruction of
masculinity and how society structures masculinity.
This created sexual inequalities.
- when you look at inequality - it is very much grounded in the****** conflict analysis: greater
inequality = more coehersion to keep people at the bottom - you need to use more force to keep
poeple at the bottom - if you have a patriarchal family - to keep this level of inequality - you need
someone in power to keep these people down. very important and how inequality in itself -
greater change of vioelnce and depression.
Individual level analysis: depression, alcohol addiction, - under 10% of family violence - hold
greater strength and resiliance - however, you cannot dismiss the importnat role that alcohol
abuse - drugs, etc.
Battered Wives - author pointed ot 6 key factors (on the slide)
-120 women came into the shelter during the time and brought 165 children with them from ages
17 to 68. Families had incomes well below the poverty line - and they were interviewed- the majority of women in the study - subscribed to the traditional functionalist view of the family -
patriarchal family - the first is :
1. Salvation ethic - this rationalization that womens desire is that of serivce to others, esp their
husbands when they are sick or troubled -to save their man - they assumed that their
responsibility to help their husbands. - putting yourself out for your man. - denying their
husbdnas intent for thier husband to hit them
2. denial of the victimzer - continuing on with this pain like nothing happened. - just deny - as if
nothing happened. - often blame themselves - denial of options.
3. denial of options - is there someone who can help you, is there any firend that can take care of
your kids etc. I can live without him etc.
6: higher loyalities-keeps women in their marriage for their sake of marriage - more relgious - i
have to stay with him until death do us part - womens desire to keep their marriage together so
that in the face of their community it sitll looks like everything is okay.
- Menjivar - putting up a front face to make sure that everything looks good. Women in foreign
countries. esp if women are dependent on males earnings, legal status - might not be able to
leave their country if they divorce their husbands, their inlaws - maybe close with the,? etc.
past expeirnces - if you are experiencing this type of violence in the household -the last thing
women usually do is call the police to tell that their husband hit them.
- lack of not having friends, facing community - great deal of pressures that kepp women in a
very precarious situation.
- number of cases in Toronto.
KORBIN - looks at the life course as experience - she looks at chil abuse - as well as helping
these. her theorization around child abuse and looking at violence in families in general:
collectively - discipline against the child - 3. sturture- vioelnce is the result of povery and
inequality. - it occurs in every country all around the world nad deeply routed in culture.