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Title: Organising against a violent society : women's anti-violence organisations in Sweden and the UK
Author: McMillan, Lesley Elizabeth Jack
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis investigates the experience of the women’s anti-violence movement in Sweden and the UK and its attempts to organise against a violent society. The women’s movement redefined male violence against women from a feminist political perspectives and from the outset was critical of the state for failing to address male violence against women and the re-victimisation of women inherent in the conduct of state agencies. As a result, feminism and the anti-violence movement had to engage with the power it sought to change - the state. From the outset the movement was reluctant to engage with the state in a formalised manner, however the advent of state funding for alternative welfare provision in the form of refuges and crisis centres meant the movement had to reassess its stance. Engaging with the state comes with both costs and benefits for the anti-violence movement. State funding of service provision provides stability for organisations, and engagement with the state can result in significant policy gains. However, there is the inherent risk that formalised relationships, restrictions imposed through state funding, and the individualised therapeutic approach preferred by the state, can have a contradictory effect on the movement by emphasising the social service role, thus lessening rather than expanding efforts for wider social and political change. The anti-violence movement in Sweden and the UK has adopted both the mainstreaming and the disengagement strategy in relation to the state. The research concludes that the process of institutionalisation, detailed in literature, that has characterised the US anti-violence movement, has not occurred in Sweden or the UK. Engagement with the state in terms of funding for service provision does impact upon the movement because it siphons energy away from campaigning for political change and into service provision. However, in Sweden and the UK this has not had the effect of transforming refuges and crisis centres from social movement organisations to ameliorative social service organisations. It also concludes that the relationship between organisational form and feminist ideology is not theoretically powerful, nor is it observable in reality, and women’s anti-violence organisations range along a continuum with organisational structure and ideology not necessarily being consistent. In both countries the anti-violence movement has engaged with the state but at the same time resisted cooption into mainstream social services and has retained a feminist political analysis of violence and anti-violence work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available