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Domestic Violence Is A Transgression Sociology Essay

Domestic violence is a transgression that takes place regularly all over the world. Domestic violence has been confirmed to be a product of psychological, physical, sexual and mental forms of anguish or suffering that the definite abuser desires gain power and authority upon their victims. Various social theories and rules have been proposed so as to assist in understanding the reasons behind domestic abuse: symbolic interactionism theory, social conflict theory and Structural Functionalism Theory. The social conflict theory maintains that domestic violence occurs in an intimate relationship when one partner possesses more resources than the other partner, so as to compensate for one’s wounded ego, the hurt partner normally resort to violence (Brinkerhoff, White, & Ortega, 2007).

The structural functionalism theory holds that domestic violence arises when the government (learning institutions) and the nuclear family fails to appropriately execute its roles. Domestic violence also occurs when women strive to occupy instrumental roles that are meant for men. Domestic violence especially by men is executed so as to offer an alternative when they cannot occupy the instrumental roles in the society (Andersen & Taylor, 2007).

The symbolic interactionism theory maintains domestic violence arises when partners in a relationship fail to understand each other's symbols and meanings. The symbolic interactionism theory maintains that it is very important for the two partners to share symbols and meanings in marriages, otherwise, domestic violence arises.

Domestic Violence: Causes of Domestic Violence

Introduction

Domestic violence also referred spousal abuse or family violence, refers to a pattern of violent behaviors by one spouse against another who are engaged in an intimate affiliation for example dating, family, matrimony, or who are staying together. Domestic violence occurs in various forms: physical abuse (beating, kicking, cutting, shoving, limiting, slapping, throwing items); emotional abuse; sexual abuse; dictatorship; intimidation; pestering; passive abuse (neglecting); and financial deprivation. Other forms of domestic violence include endangerment, criminal oppression, kidnapping, illegal imprisonment, intruding and harassment (Child Welfare Partnership, 1995).

Domestic violence is currently on the rise and is normally associated with intimate relations between husband and wife as well as in romantic relationships. Power and authority issues are amongst the crucial dimensions of domestic abuse, moreover, the main purpose of domestic violence is to evaluate one of the spouses of the power of the other partner. Domestic violence is basically a key demonstration of the exercise of power from one party.

Theoretical Perspectives

Various theories can be employed so as to assist in understanding domestic violence. The theories include symbolic interactionism theory, social conflict theory and Structural Functionalism Theory

Conflict theory

Conflict Theory holds that the society is often in a state of eternal conflict as well as competition for scarce resources. According to the conflict theory, individuals who possess wealth continuously attempt to increase their riches at the expense and affliction of individuals who do not possess wealth. The conflict theory holds that there is a power struggle in the society that is frequently won by the rich elite and often lost by the ordinary person who uses common way. Power can be defined as the capability to acquire what one desires especially in the presence of an opponent whereas authority refers to the institutionalized legal power.

The conflict theory can be used explain domestic violence. The conflict theory holds that the society is in a condition of constant conflict. Marriage as a social institution contains a variety of resources that may not be equally distributed. Some of the resources include job, talent, repute and money. When one partner lacks the resources, a sense of inferiority complex is generated and thereafter a sense of conflict occurs. When the intensity of conflicts rises, it results to abusive behavior causing domestic violence. Most of the times, conflicts occurs in an intimate relationship when one partner possesses a better job than the other, or earns more money than the other partner. So as to compensate for one’s wounded ego, the hurt partner normally resort to domestic violence.

Structural Functionalism Theory

According to the Functionalist Theory, the society is often in a continuous state of balance and maintained in that condition through the on-goings of the component parts of the society. According to the social functionalist theory, men are supposed to hold instrumental position within the society whereas women are expected to occupy expressive roles. Domestic violence especially by men is executed so as to offer an alternative when they cannot occupy the instrumental roles in the society. Social functionalist theory holds that this arrangement works well to the benefit of the entire society (Brinkerhoff, White, & Ortega, 2007).

In functionalism, the nuclear family is considered to be a positive organization that is advantageous to the entire society. The functionalists hold that the nuclear family executes meaningful functions for the benefit of the whole society. The function include: reproduction whereby the nuclear family produces children that sustains the human race; primary socialization where the nuclear family educates the children about acceptable behavior as well as the acceptable values; economic support whereby the nuclear family offers financial assistance and provides food and shelter to every family member. In functionalism, the society is believed to be more essential because a person is formed by the society. Additionally, people are considered to be the result of the social controls upon them: their relations, acquaintances, educational surroundings and their contact with the media (Stephens & Leach, 1998).

According to the functionalist point of view, the government is supposed to provide basic schooling for the children of the nuclear family in the society, which sequentially pays duty on which the government depends to sustain itself. To be precise, the family depends on the school institutions so as to assist children to grow up uprightly and afterwards have good professions so that they may also raise and maintain their own families in future. Consequently, the children turn out to be law-abiding, respectable and taxpayers who later support the state (Straus & Gelles, 1990).

According to the Functionalist Theory, domestic violence arises when the government (learning institutions) and the nuclear family fails to appropriately execute its roles. When the school fails to offer basic education for the children, they fail to understand the morals of the family and consequently perpetrate domestic violence. Additionally, when the nuclear family fails to reproduce, train children and fail to provide financial support, domestic violence arises. This is because the family will not be at peace and there will also be pressure to get the missing items and hence resulting to domestic violence (Stephens & Leach, 1998).

Symbolic Interactionism Theory

Interactionism can be categorized into two theoretical forms: social exchange and social symbolic interaction. Symbolic Interaction theory holds that the society is made up of pervasive interactions amongst people who share symbols as well as their meanings. Symbolic Interaction theory is a very helpful theory when trying to understand relationships and in improving interactions (Stephens & Leach, 1998).

Symbolic Interactionism is very influential in helping individuals to understand one another. Partners in an intimate relationship have to apply symbolic interactionism so as to understand other people’s point of view. So as to understand other people's symbols and meanings, both the partners need to be on a common ground. Even in marriages it is very important for the two partners to share symbols and meanings, otherwise, domestic violence arises (Andersen & Taylor, 2007).

Literature Review

Domestic violence is a social issue: women are assumed to be the weaker gender inside the society and for this reason, majority of them are the main victims to domestic violence (Brinkerhoff, White, & Ortega, 2007). Since the cases of domestic violence have tremendously increased within the society, it is considered to be a societal issue. The magnitude of domestic violence executed on women is more damaging than the type of abuse executed by women (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 1992). Domestic violence has been reported to be passed from one generation one generation to the next. When children witness domestic violence within their homes, they grow up knowing the domestic violence is acceptable and grow to be abusers (Child Welfare Partnership, 1995). For these reasons, it is very important to treat domestic violence as a social problem and appropriate steps should be put in place to eradicate the practice.

According to the social conflict theory, domestic violence also crops up when one of the partners feels the desire to have more control over the other partner (Andersen & Taylor, 2007). The conflict is mostly instigated by the partner who desires to have more power. So as to demonstrate a sense of control to the other partner, the inferior partner usually turns to sexual or physical abuse. So as to avoid such cases of domestic violence, the conflicts must be maintained and resolved when they have not escalated. When the conflicts escalate, domestic violence ultimately erupts in the relationships. According to the conflict theory, domestic violence especially by men assists them to gain authority over their women.

According to United Nations ECOSOC (1996), functionalist sociologists believe that “the family” is a coherent united interest grouping and family dealings are effectively harmonious. Functionalists also believe that family problems are private issues and that “the family” is basically a functional component that played an essential part in the smooth operation of the society (Brinkerhoff, White, & Ortega, 2007). The issue of control relationships within the families in the society brings about domestic violence. According to the functionalists, family is considered to be the foundation and matrimony also very is important.

According to the social functionalist theory, men are supposed to hold instrumental position within the society whereas women are expected to occupy expressive roles (US Department of Justice, 1998). There exists a power and authority variation within the patriarchal family where man is believed to be in control. According to the social functionalist theory, most of the abusers believe that it is their responsibility in society to make sure that their women are kept in line. Domestic violence occurs when women strive to occupy instrumental roles that are meant for men. At the moment, there are many women within the labor force despite the fact that men still seem to possess more wealth and ideological authority than women (Straus & Gelles, 1990). Keeping this in mind, violence is considered to be a technique of exercising control and also maintaining power. Domestic violence is considered to be a social issue that has its foundations in gendered principles and in continuing wealth inequities (Brinkerhoff, White, & Ortega, 2007).

According to symbolic interactionism theory, the society affects an individual’s behavior through various constraints posed by different societal norms and principles (Andersen & Taylor, 2007). Symbolic interactionism theory holds that individuals live in a symbolic society and a physical world. People normally have different interpretations for different symbols. So as to understand human conduct, it is significant to understand the meaning of a behavior. When two partners in a marriage understand each other’s symbols, they ultimately have a mutual understanding and know each other better. For this reason, they will not have any reasons for conflicts which afterwards escalate to domestic violence in their relationship. The partners in a relationship learn about themselves and form personal feelings founded on they react to each other when they interact with each other (Stephens & Leach, 1998).

Impact of domestic violence upon the society

Since domestic violence is a punishable offence in majority of the nations, its impact on the society is often tolerated by the law enforcement administrations in the form of court overheads and trial related expenses. Additionally, a lot of time and effort is wasted on domestic violence trials and either one or both of the parties often lose their jobs in the process of pursuing the case. However, the utmost societal impact is experienced by children that witness and experience the violence while growing up (Carlson, 1984). Social scientists believe that children whose guardians have an abusive affiliation have a higher possibility of being abusers in the relationships in future. These children mature to be persons that strive for control and power in their relationships; they aim for control by abusing their partners. Bearing in mind that children form the future generation, it is dangerous to tolerate domestic violence given that it will spread to the future generations (McKay, 1994).

Conclusion

Domestic violence mainly arises when one partner feels inferior and consequently resorts to conflicts so as to make up for feeling inferior. Domestic violence and violent relationships amongst parents negatively affects the personality of the children and also affects the manner in which they handle their future intimate relationships. In order to end domestic violence, children should be raised in a peaceful surrounding in which they are nurtured to nourish and respect relationships (Carlson, 1984). Additionally, domestic violence in parents causes depression and negatively affects the children’s emotional health. When children suffer from stress and depression at tender age, their learning abilities are negatively affected and this impairs their health (Brinkerhoff, White, & Ortega, 2007).


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