Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/74913
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Type: Journal article
Title: Managing accountability for domestic violence: Identities, membership categories and morality in perpetrators’ talk
Author: Le Couteur, A.
Oxlad, M.
Citation: Feminism & Psychology, 2011; 21(1):5-28
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0959-3535
1461-7161
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Amanda Le Couteur and Melissa Oxlad
Abstract: Psychological research and popular discussion around domestic violence/intimate partner abuse have focussed on broad features of descriptive accounts such as victim precipitation, excusing of aggressors, and minimizing or denying the violence. Few studies have examined the finer detail of how such matters are routinely invoked in talk, and how they are regularly built in ways that make their authors appear credible and warranted. This study uses a discursive psychological approach to examine the talk of men recruited from domestic violence counselling groups who participated in one-on-one interviews about their violent/abusive behaviour. The analytic focus is on instances of situated identity categorization in these men’s accounts that involved the consequential moral assessment of self and partner in ways that justify or warrant violence/abuse. Routinely, in these men’s talk about their abused partner, subtle and particular categorizations associated with being a woman were worked up sequentially to depict her as having breached the normative moral order. These warranting practices were evident in the talk of both men who denied, and who overtly acknowledged, the wrongness of their violent/abusive actions. The findings raise important issues for understanding how commonsense reasoning around the causes of domestic violence and its justifiability is sustained, as well as having practical implications for theory, prevention and treatment.
Keywords: accountability; discursive psychology; domestic violence; gender; intimate partner abuse; membership categorization
Rights: © The Author(s) 2011
RMID: 0020103551
DOI: 10.1177/0959353510375406
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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