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Biographical methods and professional practiceAn international perspective$
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Prue Chamberlayne

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344939

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344939.001.0001

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Biographical reflections on the problem of changing violent men

Biographical reflections on the problem of changing violent men

(p.148) (p.149) Ten Biographical reflections on the problem of changing violent men
Biographical methods and professional practice

David Gadd

Policy Press

After a lengthy period of neglect within the field of criminology, the study of men's violence on female partners gained prominence during the 1980s as a result of feminist activism and feminist research with victim and survivors. Attention was directed to the pervasive and extensive nature of violence against women, the greater danger posed by men that women knew, the continuous relationship between physical and sexual assaults and emotional abuse, and the criminal and dangerous consequences of this abuse. Yet, it was only in the mid- to late-1990s that British government tool a developed coordinated response to the problem of ‘domestic violence’. This chapter examines the way political posturing about male violence, which is prevalent in domestic violence work, can be subverted through biographical approaches that enable a more dynamic and analytical approach to notions of masculinity, and therewith more searching and effective practice. It also shows how, in the process of giving such help, worker's own biographies are inevitably brought into play.

Keywords:   men's violence, female partners, feminist activism, feminist research, violence against women, men, domestic violence, male violence, domestic violence work, biographical approaches

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