What has Gender got to do with it ? Exploring Physically Abusive Behaviour Towards Children

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This article explores the lack of impact that feminism has had on analyses of physical abuse. It links this to the kinds of feminist theory which have been used to explore family violence generally. These have been based on fixed notions of men, women and children. It argues for perspectives which are characterized by an appreciation that gendered positions are neither fixed nor inevitable, but, rather, subject to constant struggle and redefinition. It argues that the concept of power may not be the most helpful concept to use when exploring emotional relationships which are characterized by vulnerability and dependency, and that the concept of domination may be more helpful. Finally, the paper draws on the work of Virginia Goldner and her associates to posit the possibility of working on a number of levels, from the psychological to the material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-433
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 1997
Externally publishedYes


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