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Book part
Publication date: 15 August 2022

Preethi Krishnan

Domestic violence is the manifestation of gender and power within intimate and family relationships. How women make sense of their experience of violence may be influenced

Abstract

Domestic violence is the manifestation of gender and power within intimate and family relationships. How women make sense of their experience of violence may be influenced by the presence or absence of collective hermeneutical resources. In spaces where feminist interpretive resources are not available, women’s authentic experiences tend to be erased, misunderstood, and misrepresented even in institutions that are meant to protect them. This chapter critically examines one such institution – survey research. While surveys show the extent of a social problem, it is essential to examine whether surveys highlight or erase the various ways in which women struggle with violence. This leads to the questions: What hermeneutical resources do women have to make sense of their experience of violence? How do surveys erase or enhance collective understanding of women’s experience of violence? This chapter juxtaposes the findings about women’s attitudes toward domestic violence as measured by the Tamil Nadu National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2016 with ethnographic data gathered from rural Tamil Nadu, India. In the survey, more than 70% of the women justified domestic violence against women. In contrast, analysis of ethnographic data revealed that women rarely justified violence but rather struggled with violence in three ways – subverting violence, calibrating violence, and collaborating against violence. Where there were organizing structures, such as a union, women resorted to collaborative action. Thus, surveys that measure women’s attitudes toward domestic violence as static mind-sets erase how consciousness is an outcome of political organizing that provides marginalized groups with liberational interpretive resources.

Details

Gender Visibility and Erasure
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-593-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2015

Preethi Krishnan and Mangala Subramaniam

The practices and arrangements within a family can create grounds for violence. Although we agree that family processes are important, we think that these explanations…

Abstract

Purpose

The practices and arrangements within a family can create grounds for violence. Although we agree that family processes are important, we think that these explanations downplay the structure of families (nuclear, extended) and thereby the ways in which gender relations are organized. In this paper, domestic violence is explored as an intra-family dynamic that extends beyond the intimate partner relationship and which seeps into court rulings of cases of such violence.

Methodology/approach

Using archival data from 164 Supreme Court case decisions on domestic violence in India for the period 1995–2011, we examine both the patterns of conviction and the complexities of gender relations within the family by systematically coding the Court’s rulings.

Findings

Analysis of court rulings show that mothers-in-law were convicted in 14% cases and the husband was convicted in 41% cases. We call attention to the collective nature of the domestic violence crime in India where mothers-in-law were seldom convicted alone (3% of cases) but were more likely to be convicted along with other members of the family. Two dominant themes we discuss are the gendered nature of familial relations beyond the intimate partner relationship and the pervasiveness of such gendered relationships from the natal home to the marital family making victims of domestic violence isolated and “homeless.”

Research limitations/implications

Future research may benefit from using data in addition to the judgments to consider caste and class differences in the rulings. An intersectionality perspective may add to the understanding of the interpretation of the laws by the courts.

Social implications

Insights from this paper have important policy implications. As discussed in the paper, the unintended support for violence from the natal family is an indication of their powerlessness and therefore further victimization through the law will not help. It is critical that natal families re-frame their powerlessness which is often derived from their status as families with daughters. Considering that most women in India turn to their natal families first for support when they face violence in their marriages, policy must enable such families to act and utilize the law.

Originality/value

By examining court rulings on cases of domestic violence in India we focus on the power exerted by some women particularly within extended families which is central to understanding gender relations within institutions. These relations are legitimized by the courts in the ways they interpret the law and rule on cases.

Details

Violence and Crime in the Family: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-262-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Soma Chaudhuri, Preethi Krishnan and Mangala Subramaniam

Over the past few years, the electronic media, as represented by the internet version of print media and independent blogs of journalists, has become a major player in the…

Abstract

Over the past few years, the electronic media, as represented by the internet version of print media and independent blogs of journalists, has become a major player in the coverage of incidents related to violence against women. While this has brought forward issues of violence and specifically rape prominently into the public sphere, the media portrayal of women has often been as victims or victims who are somehow responsible for the violence against them. Such portrayal has been repeatedly challenged by feminists. Using data from 572 national and international English media reports for a six-month period (from December 2012 to April 2013) the coverage of the protests about the 2012 case of gang rape and eventual death of Jyoti Singh Pandey in India’s capital city, New Delhi, is examined in this chapter. Drawing from past research, three main frames are discerned in the portrayal of women in the reports: mainstreaming gender, endangered woman, and the ungendered woman. Media portrayals of these three frames by three broadly categorized actors most prominently covered by the media reports are analyzed: activists, state representatives or political actors, and ordinary citizens. The findings suggest that while some reports allude to women’s agency and rights particularly when they cover feminist activists, women’s agency is marginalized in the debates around safety and protection for women when other actors (such as state representatives or political actors, and ordinary citizens) are considered. Indian women’s rights have been reduced to passive messages negating the broader politics of the contemporary women’s movement.

Details

Gender and the Media: Women’s Places
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-329-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 15 August 2022

Vasilikie Demos and Marcia Texler Segal

This introduction by the volume editors discusses the multiple ways in which visibility and erasure of gender are manifested in social life. Following that discussion, the

Abstract

This introduction by the volume editors discusses the multiple ways in which visibility and erasure of gender are manifested in social life. Following that discussion, the 12 chapters included in this volume are grouped in ways that demonstrate the relationships among them and are briefly summarized.

Details

Gender Visibility and Erasure
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-593-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Vasilikie Demos and Marcia Texler Segal

This introduction locates the 11 chapters of the volume under three headings: Agency-Affirming Places, Overtly Hostile or Agency-Denying Places, and Covertly Negating…

Abstract

This introduction locates the 11 chapters of the volume under three headings: Agency-Affirming Places, Overtly Hostile or Agency-Denying Places, and Covertly Negating Places. Each chapter is summarized briefly, detailing its methods and key findings. Following the summaries, the editors point to common themes among the chapters and discuss the relationship between media and physical and symbolic gender-based violence as illustrated in the chapters.

Details

Gender and the Media: Women’s Places
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-329-4

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 15 August 2022

Abstract

Details

Gender Visibility and Erasure
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-593-9

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Abstract

Details

Gender and the Media: Women’s Places
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-329-4

Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2015

Abstract

Details

Violence and Crime in the Family: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-262-7

Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2015

Abstract

Details

Violence and Crime in the Family: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-262-7

Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2015

Abstract

Details

Violence and Crime in the Family: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-262-7

1 – 10 of 12