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Title: Young women's narratives of violence
Author: Morley, Sharon
ISNI:       0000 0001 3422 1758
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2007
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There is a growing interest in females who commit acts of violence with the mass media claiming that we are witnessing the emergence of a breed of new violent females. This thesis, however, challenges the argument that we are seeing the emergence of sassy, independent, violent females who are imitating, or in some circumstances being more violent, than males. Based on narrative interviews with a group of young women in the North West of England, this thesis reveals the pervasive nature of social control mechanisms that are at play in these young women's lives. In order to adhere to entrenched ideas of appropriate female behaviour, these young women employ a variety of preventative strategies in order to avoid or negotiate violence, sexual or otherwise. As such these strategies were not only employed to prevent violence by males, but also to prevent violence from other women, thus demonstrating women's universal fear of men and their particular fear ofother women. This thesis also builds on Kelly's (1988) continuum of violence theory, suggesting that a matrix of violence is better able to capture the subtleties and complexities ofviolence in the everyday lives ofthese young women. As such, there is no clear-cut distinction between victims and perpetrators, thus disrupting the dichotomy in which women are seen either as innocent victims or as offenders. Rather, the young women may fmd themselves at various places in this matrix as the dynamics of a conflict change. These conflicts are not only evident with regard to physical violence but also with the young women either being victims, or perpetrators of, what was termed 'mean' or 'bitchy' behaviour. However, the author suggests that we should be careful not to conflate the severity of this 'mean' behaviour with the harm inflicted by physical violence. The young women's motivations for using violence are also explored. Important here is the concept of 'respect', which, it is argued is not gender specific. Rather the young women regarded respect in the same marmer as boys and men; it gave them status among their peers. However, it was found that ideas of respectability and respectable femininity were gender specific. It was also evident that these latter terms carried different meanings for the young women at various times in their lives depending upon the circumstances and situations they found themselves in.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available