Negotiating psychological abuse: a qualitative study of white British, Caribbean and African women in inner London
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There is a lack of knowledge about the effects of social and cultural context on partner abuse. This qualitative study uses interviews to explore the perceptions, experiences and relational interactions of 20 women with current psychological abuse from intimate partners, taking into account social and cultural context. Women were recruited from primary care practices in Hackney, east London and also from community groups and by adverts and snowballing. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants, following recruitment and in 12 cases also at four to six months after this. Interviews aimed to elicit rich narratives from the women, using open-ended questions. Eleven white British, five Caribbean and four African women were interviewed. The study took a social constructivist approach and was underpinned by symbolic interactionism. Analysis included a consideration of the similarities and differences across cultural and ethnic groups. All 32 interviews (from both first and second interviews) were audiotaped, transcribed, and analysed using grounded theory. Conceptualisations drew on Gillis’ and Smart’s work on social norms, Goffman’s approach to dramaturgy, and developments of aspects of Goffman’s work by Hochschild and Cavanagh in particular. This revealed the work the women did in setting up and managing their roles, identities and experiences, particularly gender and emotions work and the way they set and shifted boundaries in the relationship.
AuthorsRivas, Carol Anne
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