Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 511–522 | Cite as

Langauge and Violence: Analysis of Four Discursive Operations

  • Linda Coates
  • Allan Wade
Original Article


The Interactional and Discursive View of Violence and Resistance is a framework for critical analysis and research, prevention and intervention that takes into account the conditions that enable personalized violence, the actions of perpetrators and victims, and the language used in representing those actions. Using this analytic framework, we analyzed five accounts of personalized violence, one each from a perpetrator, a psychiatrist, a judge, a government minister, and a therapist. Our results demonstrate the scope and the ubiquity with which diverse accounts locally accomplish four-discursive-operations; namely, the concealing of violence, obfuscating of perpetrators’ responsibility, concealing of victims’ resistance, and blaming and pathologizing of victims. We examine the specific linguistic devices that combine to accomplish the four-discursive-operations in each case. These data suggest that the problem of violence is inextricably linked to the problem of representation.


Language Violence Four-discursive-operations Victim blaming Resistance Responsibility 



This research was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We are grateful to Blair Lischeron, Nick Todd, and Krista West for their insightful comments on this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOkanagan CollegePentictonCanada
  2. 2.DuncanCanada

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