Talking control: Metaphors used by battered women

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The purpose of this study was to present battered women's perceptions of violent events and their development, as reflected in the metaphors they use. The study was conceptualized in the phenomenological-constructivist tradition and used feminist theory to interpret the findings. It is based on 25 in-depth interviews with battered women, selected purposefully from a larger study, based on the richness and variation of metaphors encountered in the data. The qualitative data were analyzed inductively using cross-case analysis. The theme of control was prevalent in battered women's metaphoric descriptions and was divided into two major grounded categories: one of women's metaphors of male self-control, including gaining and losing self-control, containing the partner's lack of control, and bridging between the man's violent and good self; and second, women's self-control, including controlling the violence through self-control, gender-related control, and women's loss of control. These findings are discussed in terms of gendered language and relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-868
Number of pages24
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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