Domestic Violence and Social Class

Topics: Social status, Social class, Sociology Pages: 5 (1892 words) Published: September 21, 2010
Domestic violence is something that happens every day around the world. Young, old, rich or poor, this is an issue that we must look at to better ourselves as a country. One of the things that we look at is how domestic violence relates to the different social classes of the country, this being upper, middle, and lower. Some would thing that it would be more common in lower classes, but the reality of it is domestic violence is a problem across all social classes. In this paper I will discuss different articles about domestic violence and its relation to social class. It is clear to see that many of the articles on this topic focus around women as victims and men get put into a category of the only ones committing violence. From different articles you can see that social class has a relation and an effect on domestic violence.

To begin with we need to understand what domestic violence is. The National Domestic Violence Hotline describes domestic violence as pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone. Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels (The National Domestic Hotline). This is one of the best definitions you will find. It’s important to realize that Domestic Violence can happen to anyone. The focus on economic background is important; there is not one social class that domestic violence does not occur in. It is key that we keep this in mind, otherwise we begin to label and fit certain social groups into categories. And as we will find out this is not the case at all.

In Gender, Status, and Domestic Violence, by Kristin L. Anderson she discusses many issues related to domestic violence. In her article she talks about social economic status and how it can affect domestic violence. The section on social class begins with how gender and social class play very big roles with each other, or how each social class helps determine the resources available to men for the construction of masculinity (Anderson, 1995). Anderson begins with the working and lower class and how their position they hold at work lacks power and authority. This can lead to violence in the home because they search for positions of power in other aspects of their life. And many times the search for power and masculinity starts in their home life. This could be one explanation for the cause of domestic violence among low income social class. It is very clear that society even thought changing for the better over the years, still puts the man as the breadwinner of his family. And if a man cannot produce for their family I agree with her that that will look for other places to find there masculinity and in some cases this is accomplished with violence against their partner. Next Anderson discusses middle and upper class together. She states with reference from another article that “Middle and upper class notions of masculinity focus on ambition, responsibility, and professional employment (Segal, 1990).” It seemed throughout her whole article she really only focuses on low class society. The research done in this article shows that men or women with low income jobs and less resources are more likely to be violent in their home as a means to gain the lack of power in their life. Men who have fewer resources then there female partners will be more likely to commit domestic assault than the men with resources equal or greater than their female partners (Anderson, 1995). We can see for the research done by Anderson that she...

References: Gender, Status, and Domestic Violence: An Integration of Feminist and Family Violence Approaches Author(s): Kristin L. Anderson Source: Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 59, No. 3 (Aug., 1997), pp. 655-669 Published by: National Council on Family Relations
Renzetti, C.M. (2009, September). Economic Stress and Domestic Violence. Harrisburg, PA: a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence/
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Walby, S, & Allen, J. (2004). Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: finding from the british crime survey. Home Office Research Study, 276, 88-92.
What is Domestic Violence? (n.d.). In get educated National Domestic Violence Hotline Online. Retrieved from
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