Control as Object: An Analysis of Violence Over Time

  • Jan E. Stets


Violence occurs at a given point in time and reoccurs over time. This chapter focuses on the nature of the violence over time and provides evidence that control again becomes a meaningful object. However, control takes on two different meanings when respondents describe the violence over time. First, repeated acts of violence are associated with attempts to control the woman. In this sense, the meaning of control may be understood as external in nature, in that the target of control is the woman and not the batterer himself. Second, for those couples who, over time, no longer experience repeated acts of violence, the man’s behavior is described and understood in terms of how he now controls himself: that is, his emotions and behavior and how he avoids controlling his partner. In this way, the meaning of control is internal in nature, in that control involves the man changing past emotional and behavioral responses. Both of these meanings of control are evidenced in this chapter.


Domestic Violence Violent Behavior Violent Incident Guilt Feeling Walk Away 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan E. Stets
    • 1
  1. 1.Family Research Laboratory, Horton Social Science CenterUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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