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Skam, maskulinitet och respons på mäns våld mot kvinnor
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (Swedish)In: Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, ISSN 1104-1420, Vol. 20, no 2, 75-92 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing on qualitative interviews with 44 men in batterer interventions programs, the present article focuses on responses to men’s violence against women, particularly on violent men’s expected and experienced responses from their social networks. The participants see violence against women as morally reprehensible since men are not supposed to use violence against “weaker” individuals (e.g. women) and that couple relationships are supposed to be characterized by mutual respect. They argue that their social networks share this view of interpersonal violence. As a consequence of breaching cultural norms on violence and gender, the men experience their violence as shameful. Shame is connected to fears of being judged and rejected. The experience of shame causes the men to be careful of telling others about their violence and seeking emotional support from friends and family in order to end violence. Some men’s experiences confirm their expected critical response, but most men receive relatively uncritical actual response. These responses are related to different narrative strategies that the men employ when disclosing their violence. The men contextualize their violence by, for instance, emphasizing their personal crisis, addiction, or their partner’s provocations. They also redefine their violence, for instance, they rather talk about their “aggression issues” than in terms of assault. When disclosing their violence, the men may also condemn their own violence by emphasizing that they understand that they have acted morally wrong and that they take full responsibility for their violence. Finally, the men may present themselves as remorseful by dealing with their “issues” and being in therapy. Through condemning their own actions as shameful, the men are able align with normative notions of masculinity and make themselves intelligible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Förbundet för Forskning i Socialt Arbete , 2013. Vol. 20, no 2, 75-92 p.
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102191OAI: diva2:669080
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2013-12-02 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2013-12-20

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