Våldet och kärleken. Våldsutsatta kvinnors begripliggörande av sina erfarenheter
Sammanfattning: The purpose of the thesis is to study, through the narratives of women subjected to violence, how men’s violence against women in intimate relationships is accounted for, and how such accounts vary with the type of social relation and context she is in. The specific context in focus here is the legal system, with the police as the first link in the legal chain. The empirical material consists of interviews with women who have been subjected to violence in an intimate relationship. Tthe theoretical framework combines feminist narrative theory and institutional theory, with the concept of accounts as a central conceptual node. Three parts make up the analysis. The first part deals with the women’s accounts of the violence they are subjected to, the second treats the accounts the women make as they encounter the legal system, and the final part is a more general analysis of how these accounts relate to the institutions of Family, Politics and Law. The main findings underscore that violence takes on a character of family secret. In the discourses that support the family institution, practices which are constitutive of coupledom and gender are charged with positive value, making it difficult for the woman to detect the piecemeal process through which the man’s courting of and concern for the woman gradually shades into control and violence. Differences regarding motives for reporting the offense, and associated differences regarding expectations on the police, can be understood partly as a result of the women’s different experiences, partly as related to the social position of the woman. An important factor – loaded with meaning in the institutions of family, politics and law, and affecting the woman’s account of the violence, of themselves, of the man and their relation – is whether or not the woman had exited the relationship.
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