Wife battering, institutional appropriation, and treatment discourse: a struggle for discursive control [thesis]

Patty J. Ginn
This thesis examines the gap between the objectified knowledge created by institutions and the expert knowledge or experience of one woman within institutional systems dealing with wife battering. Examining this gap reveals the patriarchal and hierarchical relations inherent in institutional systems and uncovers the discursive practices which they employ in order to construct ideologies about wife battering. The discourses of Law, Psychology and the helping professions stand in direct
more » ... in direct opposition to feminist discourses based in concepts of gender inequity and patriarchal domination. All discourses, however, are not created equal. The discursive battlefield is dominated by treatment discourses that insist battering is a sickness not a choice as feminist discourses maintain. This is validated by legal systems that remand or recommend that batterers enter treatment programs for abusing their wives. In order for feminists to compete successfully against dominant discourses they must construct a discourse which validates and encompasses the experiences of all battered women and resist the appropriation of services for battered women by the state.
doi:10.24124/1997/bpgub44 fatcat:rqgqccp7qzd2jnbkwlddhr3ovy