Generation, partnership, violence : Young women’s definitions for partner violence in survey

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Title: Generation, partnership, violence : Young women’s definitions for partner violence in survey
Author: Piispa, Minna
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Policy
Date: 2004-11-05
Language: en
Thesis level: Doctoral thesis
Abstract: This study considers the picture a survey conveys of partnership violence against women and the question why young women particularly experience violence in their partnerships more often than other women do. I approach these questions from the perspective of age, generation and modernisation. I used the data from a survey about male violence against women, conducted among women aged 18 to 74 (n=3,500) in 1997. In my doctoral dissertation I consider first whether women’s experiences of violence are connected with a specific stage in life and whether the lifestyle of young women has changed in some way to make them more vulnerable to violence than older women. I then consider whether young women’s experiences of violence differ from those of older women and how the experiencing of violence affects the meanings attached to it. My third object of consideration is whether young women are simply more likely than the older generations to recognise violence and whether they have a different attitude where violence is concerned. Fourthly, I consider how the methodological choices made in the survey, such as the used definition of violence and the context of the survey, may have influenced the finding that violence is directed especially towards young women. My study consists of four separate articles and a summary. The picture drawn by the survey of partnership violence against women is shaped in my study by combined analyses of the data describing partner violence and of partial non-response to the question on partner violence. My findings indicate that experiences of violence among young women differ from those among older women. Young women are better able to influence the situation, and the psychological and social consequences of prolonged physical violence have not yet affected their perceptions of themselves, or of partnership or violence. The survey method captures the experiences of violence of young women better than those of others, and young women have a different attitude to telling and speaking about violence. In my dissertation I consider the picture of partnership violence against women conveyed by a survey as representations of lived life. The central concept unifying the findings is the concept of agency, which in my study refers to the increased possibilities for women to be active in society and thereby find better ways of responding in a violent partnership. Agency also refers to the social and cultural contexts in which women recognise and give a name to violence in a partnership, and give meanings to their experiences of it. My methodological consideration focuses on whether such a sensitive topic as violence against women can be studied by a survey, what kind of speech is allowed in a survey, and what kind of a picture survey data are capable of drawing of violence. While constructing this picture, I exploit the idea that a survey constitutes interaction between the researcher and the respondent. The theoretical points of departure for my dissertation are feminist debate on violence against women and research on victimology. My study is also associated with international methodological debate on researching violence against women by surveys, and with feminist and constructionist debate on how methodological choices affect the knowledge produced by research.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen ( Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database ( Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta ( Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: partnership - violence
experiences - women - generations
definition - violence

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