Gendered Perspectives on Conflict and Violence: Part B: Volume 18B

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Table of contents

(19 chapters)
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List of Contributors

Pages vii-viii
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Purpose

This introduction sets forth the main themes of Part B of the two-part volume, reviews the methods employed by the contributors, and demonstrates the relationships among these chapters and those of Part A.

Design/methodology/approach

The chapters in the volume exemplify current research approaches to the subject matter: gender-based violence. The introduction identifies trends and themes.

Findings

Worldwide attention is being drawn to examples and forms of gender-based violence. These are currently major topics in the media, both factual and fictional. Public policies are under discussion and programs to deal with them are developing. However, because the discussions and the programs are often not research-based or intersectionally inclusive, gender-based violence persists and victims are sometimes ignored, blamed, or subjected to further violence.

Originality/value

The chapter serves as an overall introduction to the volume and the subject matter more generally.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss how routine violence seeps into the interstices of social life. Routine violence is part of a continuum of violence that extends from intimate violence to large-scale wars. It is gendered/racialized/classed and it is often invisible because it is normalized in everyday life.

Design/methodology/approach

Using cases from India we illustrate facets of routine violence and then use the frame to discuss some examples from the United States.

Findings

We discuss the social implications of routine violence including the significant harm on large sections of people in today’s world.

Originality

We meld theoretical discussions about violence associated with states with scholarship on violence against women; we use Indian activists’ concepts of routine violence and examine routine violence in the United States.

Purpose

This chapter critically analyzes the outcomes of a legal reform enacted in Bali to address unintended consequences of a World Bank policy that undermined women’s economic, legal, and human rights.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative exploratory inquiry employs ethnographic data including participant observations and 18 interviews conducted in Denpasar, Bali.

Findings

The analysis suggests that policy measures intended to empower women which fail to address the influence of gender in the formation and functioning of social institutions reinforce conceptualizations of gender that constrain women’s autonomy and reify patriarchal sociocultural institutions.

Research implications

Conceptualizations of gender in post-conflict research have lagged behind the richness of theories pertaining to gender as a social structure. Incorporating analyses of gender ideologies into the research phase of policy development will bridge this gap between theory and application.

Practical and social implications

Calls for women’s empowerment in the wake of the collapse of central governance structures, such as in the Arab Spring, must be accompanied by attention of feminist researchers and activists ensuring that policy measures intended to address barriers to women’s equality move beyond conceptions of empowerment that privilege economic capital. Dominant frameworks employed by microcredit programs and legal reformers emphasizing economic independence without attending to structural causes of women’s marginalization run the ironic risk of more deeply entrenching harmful social institutions.

Originality

This project allows women’s voices to reciprocally transform social theories and practices, contributing to understandings of the influence of gender in legal reform efforts and gender as a social structure.

Purpose

Resistances of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) to the construction of gendered religious nationalism are addressed. The implications of such resistances and redefinitions of gendered religious nationalism for the women’s movement in India and transnationally are also assessed.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with leaders and/or key informants of purposively selected organizations in the state of Gujarat serve as the primary data for the chapter. Using a grounded theory approach, the study is a qualitative analysis of the interviews and a reading of major published documents, unpublished reports, and internal reports of the NGOs that were made available.

Findings

The analysis discerns three main frames deployed by NGOs in resisting attempts by the state to construct nationalism: Communal Harmony (Not Communal Violence), “Endangered” Woman and Gender Mainstreaming. The “communal harmony, not communal violence” frame views women as an ungendered part of their communities. Although women are made central to the religious violence and struggle, they are viewed as passive persons without rights. This passive frame is the “endangered woman” frame. But women’s groups and NGOs addressing the violence have actively sought to emphasize the gender aspect of all formal and informal political activities. This is the “gender mainstreaming” frame. However, the mere visibility of women in political discourse should not be confused with the feminist framing of women’s rights or mainstreaming women’s issues.

Originality/value

The analysis brings an organizational agency perspective to consider resistance to the gendered basis of the violence perpetrated and embedded in nationalism.

Purpose

Although childhood abuse is internationally recognized as a major problem, there is a dearth of data concerning potentially protective resources, including religiosity. While studies document religiosity’s positive association with general health outcomes, little is known about its relevance to abuse in childhood. A unique opportunity to explore the relationship is provided by a community-based study of religiously diverse, adult women within a single religious denomination, Judaism. A distinctive aspect of this research, which places women’s voices and experiences center stage, is the context within which it was conducted. Israel is a deeply gendered society dominated by two patriarchal institutions, the military and religious establishments.

Methodology

Detailed telephone interviews with a large, demographically diverse sample assess a broad range of women’s health issues including childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Prevalence rates are compared for observance groups at opposite ends of the religiosity spectrum, rigorously devout ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) (n = 261) and nonreligious Secular Jews (n = 181).

Findings

Unexpectedly, no significant differences between observance groups are found for any childhood abuse (45%), physical abuse (24%), or emotional abuse (40%). Childhood sexual abuse has the lowest frequency (4.8%) of all abuse categories with more reported by Secular than Haredi respondents (7.7% vs. 3.1% p = .05).

Research implications

This study addresses a critical research gap with empirical evidence from adult women within a single religious denomination. To enhance generalizability, replication with other denominations and the inclusion of males is warranted.

Social implications

More religious involvement apparently does not mitigate the most prevalent forms of childhood maltreatment. These preliminary, yet persuasive findings warrant more policy and prevention efforts focused on childhood abuse in all families, religious as well as nonreligious.

Purpose

This chapter aims to question the ways in which sexual and gender-based violence have been framed in international discourse and policy and thus to examine some of the causes of the perceived failure of international responses to this violence.

Methodology

The chapter is based on qualitative research carried out through key informant interviews and focus groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Findings

The research highlights the ways in which limited understandings of sexual and gender-based violence lead to interventions which have unintended and sometimes negative consequences for gender relations in the DRC.

Social implications

The chapter calls on researchers, policy makers, and aid practitioners to rethink their approaches to tackling sexual and gender-based violence and to incorporate these into a more coherent overall approach to gender inequality.

Purpose

The research aimed to study the effects of participatory gender analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

This occurred within a community-based education project that was implemented in Ugandan Acholiland after the return from the displacement camps at the end of the civil war. The chapter describes the approach and analyses the impact.

Findings

Such analysis was shown to be very effective but this does not mean the community has been completely transformed.

Practical and social implications

Nevertheless, it shows the importance of participatory gender analysis for sociocultural transformation at community level.

Originality/value

This chapter makes a contribution to the literature on the use of participatory gender analysis in the global south.

Purpose

Criminological, historical, and sociological research has continually underestimated women’s violent potential in the German Neo-Nazism movement. Contemplating this leads to questions about female agency in the Third Reich, a link that has not been established yet. This chapter seeks to expose this link, arguing that regardless of social environment, changing gender roles or political situation, Neo-Nazi women and women, in general, have a potential for violence in the public sphere.

Design/methodology/approach

The chapter looks at female perpetrators in both the Third Reich and the contemporary Neo-Nazi period and examines their involvement from the overarching theoretical viewpoint that women are not any less capable of violent crimes than men.

Findings

The scope of Neo-Nazi women’s aggression and violence is not a modern phenomenon or an exception. Their invisibility is not a result of their suggested passive involvement; it stems from the public’s and institutions’ inability to perceive them as agents of violence. Bourdieu developed the concept of symbolic violence to characterize the violence experienced by victims who accept their societal subordination. It is shown that because researchers, officials, and the public reified the concept; they overlooked the reality that women can exercise their agency beyond the limits of their roles as wife and mother and commit violent acts.

Research limitations/implications

Reliable data are not available on the number of violent female Neo-Nazis. It is likely, however, that the numbers given are an underestimation.

Social implications

Law enforcement agencies have long overlooked women as potential offenders. A basic change in perspective is needed to better identify female perpetrators.

Originality/value of paper

The chapter is based on the murders of ten immigrants between 2000 and 2006, which puzzled investigators over a decade. Nobody suspected a woman was a key member of the group thought to be responsible for these murders.

Purpose

The study explores the ways hypermasculine aggression is both communicated and resisted in prisons.

Design/methodology/approach

It is based on ethnographic observation conducted at two correctional facilities: a mixed-security prison for young men where the author has facilitated conflict transformation workshops since 2006 and a maximum-security prison for men where she has taught a weekly writing class since 2007.

Findings

It found that performances of masculinity among both prisoners and prison guards are frequently structured around symbolic expressions of violence, but that both groups also engage in supportive behaviors that communicate the possibility of nonviolent caring male identity.

Research limitations

The study was limited to two correctional institutions in one state in the United States. Conditions at other correctional facilities may lead to different types of gendered performance. Also, in the tense atmosphere of a prison, neither inmates nor corrections officers express themselves fully in the presence of an outside observer.

Social implications

The violent masculinities valued and practiced in prisons replicate in communities and institutions beyond the prison walls. Attention to the alternative masculinities practiced in correctional institutions can help scholars challenge the destructive ideologies of hegemonic masculinity and reduce its prevalence; it can influence policy makers to establish more humane conditions and procedures of benefit to individuals, families, and communities.

Originality/value

The study is of value to scholars of gender, culture, and social justice; to policy makers interested in criminal justice reform; and to activists and people of conscience seeking to reduce violence on both sides of the bars.

Purpose

This chapter introduces a conceptual schema with which the authors chart the historical trajectory of four realms of feminist antiviolence efforts in the United States, describing strains and tensions between and within each realm, with a particular focus on the efficacy of violence prevention.

Design/methodology/approach

We draw on feminist theory and empirical studies of antiviolence efforts as well as our own interview and ethnographic research into violence prevention.

Findings

This chapter charts a four-part schema for understanding the trajectory of feminist engagements with violence against women. It theorizes that the segmentation of feminist antiviolence has given rise to a variety of tensions within realms that could be resolved or mitigated by reconnecting the realms.

Practical implications

In the face of growing objections to their handling of sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence, the military, colleges, and other institutions have touted their violence prevention programs. While these programs serve as a testament to over forty years of feminist efforts to institutionalized antiviolence policies and practices, without a holistic feminist approach, violence prevention functions as little more than public relations.

Originality/value

The chapter is of use for scholars thinking about violence against women and gender-based violence, as well as institutions that set policy around issues of violence.

Purpose

To study the concept of honor in Turkish everyday life discourses. Many surveys have focused on namus, thus referring to honor killings, the mechanism of violence perpetrated against women. The reason given for such killings, often seen as barbaric and the result of criminal urges, is that some men feel compelled to restore what they see as family honor, soiled by the actions of their female relatives. However, these studies avoid another key aspect of honor: namely the plurality of its meanings as honor in Turkey may also be translated both as şeref and onur.

Design/methodology/approach

To begin to understand honor in all its forms, I conducted interviews with 100 Turkish men and women ages 20–27, all university students or graduates, from the Istanbul area. I also consulted the current official and Ottoman dictionaries to understand the history of word use.

Findings

Among the young adults interviewed “honor-virtue” (i.e., namus) is a debated topic. It may be analyzed at both theoretical and geographic levels and has the connotations of otherness and non-modernity. Namus co-exists with şeref (citizen honor) and onur (dignity).

Social implications

Redefining the terms of honor could temper tensions between local/global, urban/countryside, modern/traditional, woman/man, and invisible frontier between namus and şeref worldviews. Advocating şeref and focusing on a broader definition of namus may encourage individuals to find their places in society. By focusing on national moral values, any individual in the country may participate in keeping the social order regardless of gender, age, or geographic location.

Purpose

The purpose of the chapter is to overcome interpretative dualism on migrant and native women’s victimization by proposing a Bourdieusian approach to the continuities of symbolic violence within post-patriarchal regimes of women’s freedom.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual chapter examines the Bourdieusian approach to some empirical research and continues with questions for feminist thought. The author discusses sociological research in Italy and in European contexts, and highlights the many “gazes” which can reveal the illusio of universal gender rights and the neo-colonial discourse on migrant women.

Findings

Research finds that the participant objectivation attitude and concern for disturbing dissonances in the habitus and body hexis of “others” produces tools for revealing the misrecognition of domination. At the theoretical level, the chapter shows how the plurality of hegemonic discourses on symbolic violence endorses not only social forces reproducing neo-colonial stratifications of gender, sense of belonging and class positions, but also ambivalent experiences of domination and freedom for women.

Research implications

The chapter aims to motivate the encounter between Bourdieu’s view of male domination and classical feminist constructs as lived body experience, sexual contract, and traffic in women.

Originality/value

The chapter provides an innovative analysis intersecting Bourdieu’s constructs and feminist thought in re-considering “gender-women” as a privileged locus for feminist discourse. Gender dualism under the lens of symbolic violence is viewed as both an appearance and a structural field within the dynamics of domination.

About the Authors

Pages 303-308
Content available
DOI
10.1108/S1529-2126201418B
Publication date
2014-06-18
Book series
Advances in Gender Research
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78350-893-8
Book series ISSN
1529-2126