“She must be an odd kind of woman” : Gendered categorizations in accounts of lethal intimate partner violence in Finnish tabloid news

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Venäläinen , S M 2016 , ' “She must be an odd kind of woman” : Gendered categorizations in accounts of lethal intimate partner violence in Finnish tabloid news ' , Feminism & Psychology , vol. 26 , no. 4 , pp. 426-443 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0959353516655370

Title: “She must be an odd kind of woman” : Gendered categorizations in accounts of lethal intimate partner violence in Finnish tabloid news
Author: Venäläinen, Satu Maarit
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
Date: 2016
Language: eng
Number of pages: 18
Belongs to series: Feminism & Psychology
ISSN: 0959-3535
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/173090
Abstract: This article explores the ways in which lethal intimate partner violence perpetrated by both men and women is made sense of in news reports in Finnish tabloids. An analytical approach drawing upon critical discursive psychology, complemented with tools from membership categorization analysis, was adopted for distinguishing recurring patterns in accounting for violence and use of gendered categorizations in the news. Two recurring interpretative repertoires of violence were identified. The first constructs violence as originating from interactional or relationship problems, while the second relies upon characterizations of the perpetrators as pathological or deviant to explain violence. The analysis accords particular attention to the ways in which the ideal of gender-neutrality that is prevalent in Finnish society is drawn upon in these repertoires, and how this ideal entwines with the circulation of gender-specific assumptions. The analysis also illustrates how categorizations often work in the reports to preserve the normality of men as perpetrators of lethal intimate partner violence while attaching deviance and moral questionability to women both as victims and as perpetrators, thus maintaining the taken-for-grantedness of gendered differences in relation to violence.
Subject: 5144 Social psychology
Violence, gender and violence, violence and news media
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