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Title: How young people make sense of Intimate Partner Violence : a discursive analysis
Author: Robson, Emily Rakhee Kathleen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 7642
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2018
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Aims: To explore: (i) how young people make sense of relationships, (ii) the arguments young people draw upon to make sense of healthy and unhealthy relationships, (iii) what characteristics young people use to identify intimate partner violence, and (iv) the significance of gender and sexual orientation to this sense making. Method. Following ethical approval, age- and gender-stratified focus groups were conducted with 53 young people (aged 15-24; 26 females and 27 males) in Northern England. Four researcher-generated vignettes, suggestive but not conclusive of IPV, were used to facilitate focus group discussions. Each vignette described identical behaviour but the gender and sexual orientation of the protagonists was changed (i.e. Heterosexual Female target, Heterosexual Male target, Lesbian Female target, Gay Male target). Discussions were transcribed and analysed using Discursive Psychology (Wetherell & Edley, 1997; 1999). Findings. Young people drew on three implicit 'social contracts' to make sense of relationships: (1) Love and Happiness, (2) Trust and Fidelity, and (3) Duty and Obligation. These social contracts referred to constellations of assumed common-sense, non-articulated agreements about how relationships 'work'. This thesis outlines these social contracts, what they tell us about young people's sense making of IPV and explores how social contracts were modified and caveated by characteristics such as gender and sexual orientation of the vignette protagonist. Implications. Findings highlight four main topics to consider for Relationship and Sex Education going forward: (1) tensions in sense making of IPV and relationships between a dominant Heteronormative Frame and universal, genderless constructions; (2) need for broader portrayals of victims and perpetrators beyond the traditional victim-perpetrator framework; (3) considerations of consent and rights to privacy in young people's digital lives; and (4) avenues for drawing on the Duty and Obligation contract in relation to adult/professional support of young people experiencing serious IPV, and/or IPV in same-sex relationships.
Supervisor: Madill, Anna ; Hugh-Jones, Siobhan Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available