ERIC Number: ED223366
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
The Social Construction of Wife Battering.
Hepworth, H. Philip
The surfacing of battered wives as a specific problem comes out of the many social changes occurring in Britain and many other countries in the 1960's. It comes in part from the growing number of marriages, the peaking of the baby boom in 1959, a decrease in family size, and a steady growth in female labor force participation. Importantly, women's status in modern society, like that of children previously, is now being defined separately from that of men, and is increasingly being brought under the jurisdiction of the state. An accumulation of social factors, including improved social assistance payments and other government transfer programs, makes family dissolution more possible and more visible. Additionally, current social developments serve to reveal the presence of violence within families rather than to make the violence worse. Contributors to domestic violence in general may include (1) the inability of husbands to modify their attitudes and demands in the face of quite marked social changes affecting their wives and their children, and (2) traditional sex stereotypes and dramatized violence broadcast through television and films. While it is true that wife-battering is one manifestation of the age-old phenomenon of domestic violence, perception of wife-battering as a problem to be remedied is a mark of social progress--progress that did not and will not happen automatically, but which will have to be fought for and defended. (RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada; Homeless People
Note: Paper presented at the Children and the Law Seminar (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, May 8-9, 1980).