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NCJ Number: 228988 Find in a Library
Title: How to Tell a New Story About Battering
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:15  Issue:12  Dated:December 2009  Pages:1490-1508
Author(s): Francesca Polletta
Date Published: December 2009
Page Count: 19
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the challenge facing the recognition of domestic violence against women as coercive control through narrative (stories and experiences).
Abstract: Stories are persuasive; however, the problem for those who want to use stories to challenge the status quo is that new stories are heard in terms of old ones. The solution is not to give up on stories as persuasive form. Rather, it is to rework old plotlines to new purposes. Neither tragic, mystery, nor quest story lines, which have dominated battered women’s storytelling, effectively captures women’s experience of coercive control. In lieu of the dominated storytelling, this paper argues for the use of a rebirth storyline. When told in the first person, the author’s strong narrative voice conveys an impression of agency and reasonableness, while describing experiences of dependence and dehumanization. Getting domestic violence against women recognized as coercive control requires a major effort of storytelling. This paper draws on an interdisciplinary literature on narrative and persuasion to show why doing this presents a formidable challenge. Drawing on the stories told by battered women as part of a successful reform effort, this article shows how women have used the form effectively. Notes and references
Main Term(s): Abused women
Index Term(s): Abused women; Behavior patterns; Behavior typologies; Discrimination; Domestic assault; Gender issues; Law reform; Male offenders; Research and development; Research design models; Research methods
Note: For related articles in this special issue see NCJ-228984-87 and NCJ-228989.
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