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SOCL 942: Gender and Violence

Course convenor: Sylvia Walby

The module in ‘gender and violence’ offers engagement with multiple theories, concepts, and research methodologies. It addresses what counts as gender-based violence in social and gender theory as well as in empirical and policy studies. It includes critical engagement with alternative ways of theorising and analysing the interconnections between gender and violence and the implications of these for practice. It will investigate the inter-connections between gendered violence and the economy, polity, civil society and other forms of violence. The module is focused on developing a critical understanding of the various causes of gender-based violence and the circumstances under which there is more or less of it.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction.
  • Violence in classic and contemporary social theory.
  • Violence in gender theory.
  • Defining violence: the implications of different ways of drawing boundaries around the concept of violence.
  • The gendering of violence: the extent and way in which inter-personal violence is structured by gender and other inequalities.
  • Violence and the polity: criminal justice, policies and politics.
  • Violence and the economy: inter-connections.
  • Gendered and other forms of violence: inter-connections.
  • Violence and civil society: diverse cultural interpretations.
  • Alternative approaches to gender-based violence: implications of frames of equality, human rights, crime, economic cost and health.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Crenshaw, Kimberlé Williams (1991) ‘Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color’, Stanford Law Review, 43, 6, 1241-99.
  • Jacobs, Susie, Ruth Jacobson and Jennifer Marchbank (eds) (2000) States of Conflict: Gender, Violence and Resistance. (London: Zed).
  • Johnson, Michael P. (1995) ‘Patriarchal terrorism and common couple violence: Two forms of violence against women’, Journal of Marriage and Family, 57, 2, 283-294.
  • Kelly, Liz (2003) ‘The wrong debate: reflections on why force is not the key issue with respect to trafficking in women for sexual exploitation’, Feminist Review, 73, 139–144.
  • Merry, Sally Engle (2001) ‘Spatial governmentality and the new urban social order: Controlling gender violence through law’, American Anthropologist, 103, 1, 16-29.
  • Panda, Pradeep and Bina Agarwal (2005) ‘Marital violence, human development and women’s property status in India’, World Development, 33, 5, 823-850.
  • Straus, Murray and Richard Gelles (eds) (1990) Physical Violence In American Families. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction).
  • Taylor-Browne, Julie (2001) (ed.) What Works in Reducing Domestic Violence? (London: Whiting and Birch).
  • Walby, Sylvia and Jonathan Allen (2004) Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking. (London: Home Office).
  • Zippel, Kathrin (2004) ‘Transnational advocacy networks and policy cycles in the European Union: The case of sexual harassment’, Social Politics, 11, 1, 57-85.

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