- Access throughyour institution
- Section snippets
- References (64)
- Cited by (14)
- Recommended articles (6)
Women's Studies International Forum
Volume 33, Issue 2,
, Pages 81-90
Author links open overlay panel
In this qualitative study with 22 Swedish women who have left abusive heterosexual relationships, the informants' interpretations of their abusers as ‘Jekyll and Hyde‘ are analysed against the background of two opposite discourses: the pathology/deviance discourse and the feminist/normality discourse. Complex mixes and combinations of understandings were found in the informants' interpretations, which were, however, dominated by conceptualisations traceable to the pathology/deviance discourse. During the analysis of the material a third image emerged, beyond Jekyll and Hyde, i.e. the abusers as ‘hurt boys’.
Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published in 1886 and was a major success. The story of the well-reputed Dr. Jekyll, occasionally transformed into the vile and violent Mr. Hyde, has since been reprinted numerous times and portrayed in several different ways on the stage and in films. “Jekyll and Hyde” has become a metaphor to describe a duality of, or a transformation from, good to bad. It has been noted that this metaphor is commonly used by abused women when describing the abusers (e.g. Enander, 2009, Goetting, 1999, Zink et al., 2006). This article aims at investigating formerly battered women's descriptions and conceptualisations of the men who once subjected them to violence. The Jekyll and Hyde metaphor is present here, as is the related question “Who is this guy?”; is he “really” Dr. Jekyll or “really” Mr. Hyde?1
Discourses on violence against women and on violent men are also reflected in women's conceptualisations of their abusers. The focus of this study is on how the victims of male-to-female intimate partner violence interpret and describe the perpetrators and how these interpretations mirror different discourses on violence against women and on violent men. This supplements previously existing literature by connecting the discursive with the cognitive, important since women's conceptualisations of their abusers may influence the choices they make in the wake of violence.
Sociologist Howard (1991/2006, p 1) describes how social psychology during the twentieth century circled round “the three poles of behavior, cognition and affect” with emphasis on behaviour, cognition and emotion in turn. Currently, social scientists have turned their attention to discourse. The interconnections between these domains are many and complex. However, of the three “poles” mentioned by Howard, discourse is arguably closest related to cognition. According to Burr (1995, p 48), discourse “refers to a set of meanings, metaphors, representations, images, stories, statements and so on that in some way together produce a particular version of events” and there may, further, be many different and varying discourses covering the same “event”, or phenomenon. The concept of discourse, used mainly by social constructivists, bears a resemblance to what cognitive sociologists, like Zerubavel (1997) calls “thought communities”. Though differing in many other ways, social constructionists and cognitive sociologists equally stress that we do not think as mere individuals: our perceptions and conceptualisations are informed by collective and overarching ways of describing the world (e.g. Edwards, 1997, Fairclough, 1995, Zerubavel, 1997). This does however not imply any clear-cut or direct pathway. As social agents, individuals may not only reproduce discourses, but actively make use, shape, contrast and reconstruct them in different ways (Fairclough, 1995). Thus, when battered women's interpretations of their abusers are described as “mirroring” two overarching discourses on violent men, what is meant is that traces of these discourses are found in the repertoire of tools women use to interpret their abusers and understand their experiences of being abused.
Women's conceptualisations of their abusers, i.e. their cognitions, are further related both to emotion and action. Emotion sociologists like Hochshild, 1983/2003, Katz, 1999, Scheff, 1990 forward that cognition and emotion and are deeply entwined. Hochshild (1983/2003) regards emotion as a signal that informs us of our position in the world and in relation to other people. But she emphasises that this signal is not a simple representation of an “objective” reality: any apprehension of a situation, emotional or not, is based on prior expectations—i.e. cognitions—that are socially shaped.
Emotion further entails, according to Hochshild, an orientation to action. Emotion is actually, she claims, “our experience of the body ready for an imaginatory act” (Hochshild, 1983/2003, p.230). Psychologist Frijda (2002) similarly poses a strong relation between emotion and action. Emotions are motivational states, claims Frijda, that “impel the person to undertake actions of a certain type, with a certain aim” (Frijda, 2002, p. 11). Both Hochschild and Frijda emphasise however that the connection between emotion and action is not a causal, nor a simple one. Culture is present also here; Frijda posits that whether one will act in line with the particular “content” of a feeling, is dependent on whether this line of action has ideological (or, phrased differently, discursive) support.
Three images are investigated in this article: the abusive man as Jekyll or Hyde or as a “small boy”. The first two images are joined together in the classic metaphor recurrently used by battered women in this and other studies. The third materialised during the analysis as an image transcending Jekyll and Hyde. The analysis puts these images in relation to two overarching discourses on violence against women and violent men.
Women's experiences of and responses to intimate partner violence are portrayed in an extensive amount of literature (e.g. Baker, 1997, Campbell et al., 1998, Cavanagh, 2003, Moe, 2007). How women describe such experiences has also been a focus of attention, with emphasis on language and narratives (Lempert, 1994, Lempert, 1996, Loseke, 2001). Lempert (1996) found that the women in her study were struggling to find ways to recount their experiences of living with abusive men. The language
Since men's violence against women became an acknowledged social problem in the 1970s, several different frameworks—within and across academic disciplines—have been used to explain and understand the phenomenon. Neurobiologists and psychiatrists have discussed the pathology of the batterer's brain and personality (e.g. Cohen et al., 1999, Ehrensaft et al., 2004). Psychologists and psychoanalysts have focused on the batterer's—and at times the battered's—malfunctioning family of origin and
Material and method
This article is based on a qualitative interview material with Swedish women who have left abusive men. A total of 22 informants, in two different groups, were interviewed; the material consists of 47 interviews. The interviews were conducted at places chosen by the informants: in their homes, at the university or at public libraries. All interviews except one were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. One informant declined tape-recording; extensive notes were taken instead. Confidentiality
Jekyll and Hyde—Images of abusers in informants descriptions
Kind, warm, considerate, charming, humorous, empathic and exciting were words commonly used by the informants to describe the man they first met. The description of having been “seen” by this man, i.e. perceived and appreciated just as one “is”, was also recurrent. In accordance with the Jekyll/Hyde metaphor, informants talk about falling in love with Jekyll, not Hyde, and that the duality of the abuser becomes apparent later. As Malin put it:
I mean, it's not like you meet a violent man and say
During the last two decades, feminist advocacy, activism and theory development concerning men's violence against women has been evolving rapidly and has profoundly challenged earlier research and practice, which were dominated by pathology/deviance understandings. In Sweden the 1998 government proposition entitled Protection of Women's Integrity (Proposition 1997/98:55) was a milestone in the evolvement of public awareness and institutional responses to violence against women. The proposition,
- Michael A. Anderson et al.
“Why doesn't she just leave?”: A descriptive study of victim reported impediments to her safety
Journal of Family Violence
- Jodi Aronson
A pragmatic view of thematic analysis
- Phyllis L. Baker
And I went back: Battered women's negotiation of choice
Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
- Ola W. Barnett
Why battered women do not leave, part 2. External inhibiting factors—Social support and internal inhibiting factors
Trauma, Violence & Abuse
- J.L. Bernard et al.
The abusive male seeking treatment: Jekyll and Hyde
- Nancy Berns
Framing the victim: Domestic violence, media, and social problems
- Brandsæter, Marianne (2001). Møter med menn dømt for sexuelle overgrep mot barn. [Meetings with men sentenced for...
- Cathy F. Bullock et al.
Coverage of domestic violence fatalities in newspapers in Washington State
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
- Vivien Burr
An introduction to social constructionism
- Jacquelyn Campbell et al.
Voices of strength and resistance: A contextual analysis of women's responses to battering
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Understanding women's responses to domestic violence
Qualitative Social Work
Neuropsychological correlates of domestic violence
Violence and Victims
Gender and power: Society, the person and sexual politics
Socioeconomic predictors of intimate partner violence among White, Black and Hispanic couples in the United States
Journal of Family Violence
Violence against wives: A case against the patriarchy
The abusive personality
Violent men: Ordinary and deviant
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Discourse and Cognition
Clinically abusive relationships in an unselected birth cohort: Men's and women's participation and developmental antecedents
Journal of Abnormal Psychology
Separationer och mäns våld mot kvinnor [Separations and men's violence against women]
Why does she leave? The leaving process(es) of battered women
Health Care for Women International
Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language
Emotions as motivational states
European Review of Philosophy
Wife-battering: A systems theory approach
Loving to survive: Sexual terror, men's violence and women's lives
Who are those guys? Toward a behavioral typology of batterers
Violence & Victims
Getting out: Live stories of women who left abusive men
På jakt efter kjønnede betydninger
The personality correlates of men who abuse their partners: A cross-validation study
Journal of Family Violence
The violences of men: How men talk about and how agencies respond to men's violence to women
- Offending competency and coercive control in intimate partner violence
2015, Aggression and Violent Behavior
Citation Excerpt :
As these women are likely to have experienced severe violence, it is also likely that the men they described fit within the coercive controlling or generally violent groups. In a qualitative study of 22 Swedish survivors of domestic violence, Enander (2010) identified the dual identity that abusive men have both within their relationship with their victims, and also across their relationships with victims and others. Perpetrators were described as being sociable, charming, likeable, charismatic, talented and sensitive, and this identity was identified as what had drawn women to them at the start of the relationship.
This paper considers some of the ways in which intervention approaches for perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) might be enhanced through the explicit consideration of the offense process. It is suggested that those who are experts in perpetrating this type of violence routinely use coercive controlling violence in intimate relationships. This group, for whom violence is instrumental, are not only likely to be at highest risk of offending, but also the most difficult to treat. They are more likely to have long developmental histories of violence, hold entrenched attitudes, and utilize knowledge about the effects of intimidation to avoid detection. It is suggested that specific consideration of what is known about the causes and correlates of IPV in those who follow this approach-explicit pathway can improve the outcomes of current perpetrator behavior change programs.
- Blaming violent men-A challenge to the Swedish criminal law on provocation
2014, Women's Studies International Forum
Citation Excerpt :
Violence is instead viewed as a choice and as a means of achieving, aspiring for, or maintaining power and control. Violence is comprehended as functional in that it for example may end an undesired argument, prove that the violent man deserves ‘respect’, or hold women in relationships (Dobash & Dobash, 1998; Enander, 2009). Such a feminist discourse will find it difficult to influence criminal law, however, because of the current notions of provocation and culpability.
Feminists have long criticized how provocations narrative of a woman ‘asking for it’ functions as a legal ‘abuse excuse’ for violent men and confirms their rationalizations and justifications for violence. This article aims to challenge a particular aspect of provocation in Swedish criminal law—namely, a tendency to individualize and subjectivize culpability in a way that suggests that the individual male perpetrator's specific understanding of his violence should be the perspective from which to understand and judge his violence. Criminal legal culpability is approached as an important aspect in the relationships between gender, power, and violence, and the author argues that the notion of culpability should be changed in two respects. The tendency to regard emotions as ‘factual’ should be replaced by an evaluative view on emotions and men's responsibility for their emotional responses to women should be judged by acknowledging how values and reasons intersect with power relations.
A Mixed-Method Approach to Understand Themes of Love in Victims’ Dismissals of Civil Protection Orders
2022, Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Why Does He Do It? What Explanations Resonate During Counseling for Women in Understanding Their Partner’s Abuse?
2022, Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Stories of Backlash in Interviews With Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in Sweden
2022, Violence Against Women
Representation of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in Swedish News Media: A Discourse Analysis
2021, Violence Against Women
Research articlePerpetration of intimate partner violence by young adult males: The association with alcohol outlet density and drinking behavior
Health & Place, Volume 21, 2013, pp. 10-19
This study examined the association between alcohol outlet density and male to female intimate partner violence (IPV).
Data were analyzed from a national probability sample of males who reported a current heterosexual relationship (N=3194). Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the likelihood of having perpetrated IPV.
High alcohol outlet density was associated with having perpetrated physical only IPV (odds ratio [OR]=2.51; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.21–5.20). Outlet density was not associated with greater odds of sexual IPV perpetration.
Alcohol outlet density was found to be associated with perpetration of physical IPV. Developing environmental strategies with respect to alcohol outlets could potentially reduce perpetration of male-to-female physical IPV.
Research articleEnriched environment improves the cognitive effects from traumatic brain injury in mice
Behavioural Brain Research, Volume 271, 2014, pp. 59-64
To date, there is yet no established effective treatment (medication or cognitive intervention) for post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with chronic sequelae. Enriched environment (EE) has been recognized of importance in brain regulation, behaviour and physiology. Rodents reared in, or pre-exposed to EE, recovered better from brain insults. Using the concussive head trauma model of minimal TBI in mice, we evaluated the effect of transition to EE following a weight-drop (30g or 50g) induced mTBI on behavioural and cognitive parameters in mice in the Novel Object Recognition task, the Y- and the Elevated Plus mazes. In all assays, both mTBI groups (30g, 50g) housed in normal conditions were equally and significantly impaired 6 weeks post injury in comparison with the no-mTBI (p<0.001 and p<0.03, respectively) and the mTBI+EE groups (p<0.001 for the 30g, and p<0.017 for the 50g). No differences were found between the control and the EE mice. Two separate finding emerge: (1) the significantly positive effects of the placement in EE following mTBI, on the rehabilitative process of the tested behaviours in the affected mice; (2) the lack of difference between the groups of mice affected by 30g or by 50g. Further studies are needed in order to characterize the exact pathways involved in the positive effects of the EE on mice recovery from mTBI. Possible clinical implications indicate the importance of adapting correlates of EE to humans, i.e., prolonged and intensive physical activity – possibly combined with juggling training and intensive cognitive stimulation.
Research articleSocial regulation of adult neurogenesis in a eusocial mammal
Neuroscience, Volume 268, 2014, pp. 10-20
The present study examined the effects of social status on adult neurogenesis in an extreme cooperative breeder: the naked mole rat. These animals live in large colonies of up to 300 individuals, with a strict reproductive dominance hierarchy; one female and one to three males breed, and all other members are socially subordinate and reproductively suppressed. We examined the effects of social and gonadal cues on doublecortin (DCX; a marker for immature neurons) immunoreactivity in the dentate gyrus (DG), piriform cortex (PCx) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) by comparing dominant breeding animals to non-breeding subordinates from intact colonies. We also examined DCX expression in subordinate animals that had been removed from their colony and paired with an opposite- or same-sex conspecific for 6months. Compared to subordinates, dominant breeders had significantly reduced DCX immunoreactivity in all brain areas, with BLA effects confined to females. By contrast, the effects of same- versus opposite-sex housing were region-specific. In the DG and PCx, more DCX immunoreactivity was observed for opposite- than same-sex-paired subordinates. Conversely, same-sex-paired females had more DCX immunoreactivity than opposite-sex-paired females in the BLA. Gonadectomy did not affect DCX expression in opposite-sex-paired animals, and no significant relationships between gonadal steroids and DCX immunoreactivity were detected, suggesting that group differences in neurogenesis are independent of gonadal hormones. The apparent lower neurogenic capacity displayed by breeders contrasts previous reports on neurogenesis and social rank, challenging the conventional view that subordination is stressful and impairs neurogenesis. Future work will clarify whether the present findings can be attributed to status-dependent differences in stress, behavioral plasticity, or life stage.
Research articleSocial positioning by people with Alzheimer's disease in a support group
Journal of Aging Studies, Volume 28, 2014, pp. 11-21
People with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are often negatively positioned by others, resulting in difficulties upholding a positive sense of self. This might cause them to withdraw socially and apparently ‘lose their minds’. Conversely, the sense of self can be strengthened with the support from others. This study aimed to describe, in accordance with positioning theory, how people with moderate AD positioned themselves and each other in a support group for people with AD. We describe five first-order positions; the project manager, the storyteller, the moral agent, the person burdened with AD, and the coping person. In the interactions that followed among the support group participants, those positions were mainly affirmed. This enabled participants to construct strong and agentic personae, and to have the severity of their illness acknowledged. Despite their language impairment participants managed to position and reposition themselves and others by assistance of the trained facilitator.
Research articlePerceived Discrimination and Heavy Episodic Drinking Among African-American Youth: Differences by Age and Reason for Discrimination
Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 57, Issue 5, 2015, pp. 530-536
The purpose of this study was to examine whether associations between perceived discrimination and heavy episodic drinking (HED) vary by age and by discrimination type (e.g., racial, age, physical appearance) among African-American youth.
National data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Transition to Adulthood Study were analyzed. Youth participated in up to four interviews (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011; n= 657) between ages 18 and 25 years. Respondents reported past-year engagement in HED (four or more drinks for females, five or more drinks for males) and frequency of discriminatory acts experienced (e.g., receiving poor service, being treated with less courtesy). Categorical latent growth curve models, including perceived discrimination types (racial, age, and physical appearance) as a time-varying predictors of HED, were run. Controls for gender, birth cohort, living arrangement in adolescence, familial wealth, parental alcohol use, and college attendance were explored.
The average HED trajectory was curvilinear (increasing followed by flattening), whereas perceived discrimination remained flat with age. In models including controls, odds of HED were significantly higher than average around ages 20–21 years with greater frequency of perceived racial discrimination; associations were not significant at other ages. Discrimination attributed to age or physical appearance was not associated with HED at any age.
Perceived racial discrimination may be a particularly salient risk factor for HED around the ages of transition to legal access to alcohol among African-American youth. Interventions to reduce discrimination or its impact could be targeted before this transition to ameliorate the negative outcomes associated with HED.
Research articleIntroduction of inactivated poliovirus vaccine leading into the polio eradication endgame strategic plan; Hangzhou, China, 2010–2014
Vaccine, Volume 35, Issue 9, 2017, pp. 1281-1286
China’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) has provided 4 doses of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) since the 1970s. Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) became available in 2010 in Hangzhou as a private-sector, parent-chosen alternative to OPV. In 2015, WHO recommended that countries with all-OPV vaccination schedules introduce at least one dose of IPV, to mitigate risk associated with the withdrawal of type 2 OPV. We analyzed polio vaccine coverage and utilization in Hangzhou to determine patterns of IPV use and the occurrence of vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) in the various patterns identified.
Children born between 2010 and 2014 and registered in Hangzhou’s Immunization Information System (HZIIS) were included. VAPP cases were detected through the acute flaccid paralysis surveillance system. We used descriptive epidemiological methods to determine IPV and OPV usage patterns and VAPP occurrence.
HZIIS data from 566,894 children were analyzed. Coverage levels of polio vaccine were greater than 92% for each birth cohort. Percentages of children using OPV-only, IPV-only, and IPV/OPV sequential schedules were 70.57%, 27.01% and 2.41%, respectively. IPV-only schedule utilization increased by birth cohort regardless of geographical area or whether the child was locally-born. The highest use of an all-IPV schedule (79.85%) was among urban, locally-born children in the 2014 birth cohort. Five VAPP cases were identified during the study years; all cases occurred following the first polio vaccine dose, which was always OPV for the cases. Type 2 vaccine virus was isolated from 2 VAPP cases, and type 2 and type 3 vaccine virus was isolated from one VAPP case. The incidence of VAPP in the 2010–2014 birth cohorts was 3.76 per 1million doses of OPV.
Children in Hangzhou had high polio vaccination coverage. IPV-only schedule use increased by year, and was highest in urban areas among locally-born children. All cases of VAPP were associated with the first dose of OPV.
This manuscript has not been published elsewhere and has not been submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere.
Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.