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Type Thesis or Dissertation - PhD Thesis
Title Domestic violence in India: Identifying types of control and coping mechanisms in violent relationships
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
effort to bring clarity to the varieties of domestic violence across contexts, this study examines specifically the relationship among patriarchy, domestic violence and agency exerted by women. Although patriarchy has been largely investigated as the primary cause of domestic violence, the processes that mark this relationships has rarely been assessed. In addition, patriarchal ideology and restrictions in the Indian family system are uniformly blamed as the primary reason for women staying in violent relationships (Johnson & Johnson 2001). Recently, researchers have questioned whether patriarchy is the only factor affecting domestic violence, and whether women are always hapless victims of violence (Johnson 1995, Sangari, 2002). I argue based on these findings there is a need for the reassessment of the relationship patriarchal ideology, agency and domestic violence.

Paying close attention to the specific interpersonal and intra-familial dynamics of control and coping mechanisms in a marital relationship, this project answers four main research questions: (1) What are the different types of control that families exert over women in situations of domestic violence? (2) How do the different contexts of domestic violence influence the strategies used by families to control women's economic and social lives? (3) What are the different coping strategies that are used by women to deal with violence in these differing contexts? and (4) How are these coping strategies influenced by the interaction of particular cultural, social, and economic contexts?

To answer these questions, I employ a blended methodology of qualitative and quantitative research to identify different types of control contexts in familial violence and the differential effects of these types of domestic violence. I use a combination of primary and secondary data. The secondary data for the project comes from the Demographic Health Survey of India, conducted in 1999. This large-scale survey data are used in conjunction with primary data to create a unique dataset that enabled me to better understand the micro- and macro-structures of domestic violence in India. Thus, by conducting this research, I want to make a case for the importance of making distinctions in domestic violence and to explicate some of the contributions that such distinctions can make to our understanding of domestic violence.

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