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Social Science Perspectives on Wife Abuse: Current Debates and Future Directions

Demie Kurz
Gender and Society
Vol. 3, No. 4, Special Issue: Violence against Women (Dec., 1989), pp. 489-505
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/189766
Page Count: 17
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Social Science Perspectives on Wife Abuse: Current Debates and Future Directions
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Abstract

Two major social science perspectives on wife abuse have emerged in the last decade. One is a family violence perspective; the other is a feminist perspective. The purpose of this article is to compare the basic premises, methodology, and conclusions of these two perspectives with respect to their views of women and gender. The perspectives differ in the priority that they assign to gender as a factor in the abuse of women by husbands and male intimates, and these differences have implications for research and policy on wife abuse. I argue that the feminist perspective portrays the realities of battering more accurately, and I conclude with directions for future research.

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