The problem of men's violence to known women-principally wives, partners, girlfriends-is, at last, more widely recognized. The Violences of Men addresses the problem of men's violence to known women within the broad context of men's use of power and violence in society. Jeff Hearn considers the scale of men's violence against women, and critically reviews the theoretical frameworks that are used to explain this violence. From the perspective of “critical studies of men,” he discusses issues, challenges, and possible research methods for those studying and researching violence, and particularly men's violence to known women. He then draws on extensive original research to analyze the various ways in which men describe, deny, justify, and excuse their violence, and considers the complex interaction between doing violence and talking about violence. He goes on to examine agencies' responses to men's violence, ranging from avoidance to policy and practice innovations and possibilities, before discussing ways that some men may move away from violence. The Violences of Men makes an important contribution both to theoretical debates about how to understand men's violence, and to debates on appropriate policy and practice in response to that violence.
Chapter 5: The Contexts of Violence
The Contexts of Violence
Talk in Social Positionings
Men's talk, and indeed silence, about violence is set in contexts. This chapter addresses the contexts of men's talk about violence to known women. These include those recognized by the men, and those observable through analysis that may not be apparent to them. Accordingly, men, in their talk and silence, are located in social positionings. Men are positioned by social structures in particular locations, and yet may contradict them in some way. They may also position themselves or be positioned by others, and may be in several different positionings. Men may occupy subject positions, which may he multiple, shifting and contradictory, within discourses.
Types of Context
Contexts usually comprise a number of disparate elements: strategic, societal, agency. ...