Explanations of male abuse of female partners : an explication, evaluation and integration (1998)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Male abuse of female partners is now recognised as a major social problem that has serious and significant consequences for its victims. This study is based on the argument that this problem must not be reduced to individual acts of violence for this risks obscuring the real nature of MAFP and, thereby, hinders the development of any effective solutions to the problem. The problem that is identified in this study is men's control and domination of their women partners.
Etiological research in the field of male abuse of female partners, to date, has tended to be empirical rather than theoretical. This current study contributes to the neglected but critical area of theoretical research into the etiology of male abuse of female partners. It provides an explication and evaluation of fourteen realist theories of male abuse of female partners. It also identifies and briefly discusses a number of other non-realist theories that also commonly appear in the literature. Only realist theories are fully explicated and appraised within this study, as it is argued that they are the only route to gaining knowledge about the world, for many of the world's most important causal mechanisms are hidden from direct view. The task of theory evaluation in this study involves evaluating theories in terms of their practical utility, conceptual coherence, and explanatory breadth, the latter being a major component of a new and important theory of theory evaluation proposed by Thagard (1978, 1989, 1992).
This study provides a new integrated theory to explain male abuse of female partners, based upon the theories which were previously shown in the study to have the greatest value. This new theory, which is referred to as the new feminist integrated theory, is subsequently evaluated and is shown to have considerable practical utility, explanatory breadth and conceptual coherence.
KeywordsWife abuse--Philosophy; Women--Crimes against--Philosophy; Feminist theory
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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