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Title: Constrained, compromised and disconnected : experiences of women in contact with the Magistrates' Court following violence and intimidation from male partners
Author: Grundy, Michelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 1045
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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The thesis explores the experiences of women who had contact with the Magistrates' Court process as a result of violence and intimidation from men in past and existing relationships. Drawing on understandings and appropriations of feminist standpoint theory (Harding: 1987; 2004), an interpretive variation of grounded theory (Charmaz: 2007) and features of structuration theory (Giddens: 1984), the empirical study aimed to provide space for women to speak and be heard, in order to provide a more in-depth portrayal and understanding of women's experiences of their interface with the criminal court system, addressing a specific under-researched area in criminological and socio-legal discourses. Areas of convergence and divergence between the views of the women and professionals are also identified and a thematic discussion considers how the women's experiences of the law are structured and reproduced. The study found that most women wanted contact with some aspect of the criminal justice system, if not necessarily the court process, but on their terms: their experience assessed by their own notion of appropriateness. Women were shown to be knowledgeable agents strategising and attending to their more immediate priorities, which were not limited to judicial concerns. Women's agency was compromised and constrained throughout their experience, with their own legitimate victim status being questioned. The women reported a disconnection with the court process, and an absence of a sense of ownership, while the structural demands of the system and pressures brought by involvement were shown to bring additional complications in women's lives. The experience was deemed isolating, resulting largely from a dissonance between the women's frameworks of meaning, and those of the court professionals they came into contact with. The thesis concludes by identifying implications for addressing the normative gendered processes and culture of the criminal legal system, proposing an alternative approach centred on the needs and rights of abused women.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available