Killed by Hatred of Killed by Love? : An intersectional challenge to legal constructions of gendered violence in Finland and Turkey

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Title: Killed by Hatred of Killed by Love? : An intersectional challenge to legal constructions of gendered violence in Finland and Turkey
Author: Åkers, Anna Daniela
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2014
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Gender and law
Oikeuden ja sukupuolen tutkimus
Genus och rätt
Abstract: This LL.M. thesis is an intersectional, interdisciplinary study of the constructions of gendered violence in Finland and Turkey, in particular with reference to majority and minority positions in society. The study is interested in the perception of “the violence of the other”, i.e. the essentialised violence, but also in the normalisation process of (certain kinds of) violence. The categorisation of the so-called collective gendered violence and so-called individual gendered violence are investigated in the thesis as social constructions. In the study, a discourse analysis of twelve (six Finnish + six Turkish) judgements is conducted, inspired by Foucauldian views on discourses, where knowledge and power are intertwined. Four discourses are found in the study: male violence, female behaviour, normalised/individual violence and essentialised/collective violence. The discourse analysis mainly focuses on the creation of legal facts in the argumentation of the court. In the study, context is particularly stressed. Therefore, the study includes a general analysis of gendered violence and majority/positions in Finnish in a societal, political, legal and historical context. The most important features in the international legal framework on gendered violence are shortly accounted for, since international pressure has had a large impact on legal development in both investigated countries. The majority/minority positions in focus are Finnish majority population/(Muslim) immigrant minority population in Finland, and Turkish majority population/Kurdish minority population in Turkey. The study is performed within a feminist and intersectional theoretical framework, where social constructionism and discourse analysis are used as methodology and method. As a main focus of the study, means of alterity are investigated. The study is critical in its nature and poses a challenge to the legal paradigm of objectivity. The study also touches upon the larger debate on the perceived paradox of multiculturalism and feminism in the liberalist view on law in western society. The study claims that this paradox is the result of the patriarchal and imperialistic structures in law. The conclusion of the study is that the constructions of legal facts in courts are often discriminating upon vulnerable groups. In the study, these are mainly women and minority group members. The interaction and interconnections of the discourses often lead to multiple discrimination, where the female minority member is particularly vulnerable, her perspective being invisible in the construction of the legal facts.

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