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Title: 'It's wrong for a boy to hit a girl because the girl might cry' : younger people's constructions and understandings of men's violence against women
Author: Lombard, Nancy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 1410
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2010
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Men's violence against women is an endemic social problem within all societies and cultures. Feminist research and activism has maintained that to challenge and prevent men's violence against women, changing attitudes and behaviour are key. Previous studies looking at the attitudes of young people and male violence have focused upon those over the age of 14. The inclusion of the perspectives of eleven and twelve year olds offers an original contribution to the age-old problem of male violence against women. The main aims of the research were to confront and challenge the 'everyday' occurrence and acceptability of the social problem of men's violence against women; and to challenge the perception that eleven and twelve year olds are too young to 'know' about violence or to offer opinions on it. The fieldwork took place over a period of six months involving 89 young people in five primary schools in Glasgow using participatory methods to engage and empower the young people. Qualitative methods were used; exploratory questionnaires, discussion groups (taking place among self selected friendship groups) and vignettes. It is argued that young people's own position within childhood directs impacts upon how they conceive of, construct and understand violence. Therefore young people's understandings of men's violence needs to be theorised within a framework that illuminates the temporal, spatial and gendered elements of their accounts. This is achieved by developing a transitory framework to illustrate what young people define and name as 'real' and 'unreal' violence. A theoretical typology is then constructed to explain the three main techniques used by the young people to understand violence: they naturalise violence (as a prerequisite of 'abstract' male identity); they normalise it (to the extent that they do not recognise it in their own experiences) and they justify most examples of male violence as an anticipated consequence of the (accepted) gender inequities endorsed within heterosexual relationships. The findings of this research demonstrate the need to give a voice to young people and listen to how they understand and articulate on the subject of men's violence against women. The findings highlighted that where gender divisions and stereotypes were perpetuated, the young people were less likely to challenge men's violence against women. Also the young people's invalidation of their own experiences of violence (including minimisation of sibling violence) is illustrated here alongside boys' use of violence and expectations of gendered privilege. Therefore, the promotion of gender equality and the reduction of gender segregation is key. The role of preventive education and awareness raising in tackling young people's attitudes is highlighted as a necessity in dealing with this social problem.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available