Theoretical Underpinnings of Domestic Violence

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In class as well as in the Levin and Weinberg readings we have covered seven theoretical perspectives on social problems. The first perspective that we covered is Social Pathology. With this perspective the individual is viewed as someone who cannot stop the domestic violence and continues these actions time and time again. Societies attitude towards these wrongdoers is that they pose a threat to society and we are fearful to these individuals. The solution to domestic violence under this philosophy is for the individual to be put in jail and removed form society so that they can be given some kind of moral education. The second perspective discussed is social disorganization. In this perspective society views domestic violence as something that is a violation of the "social rules" and that the individual may not know that what they are doing is wrong. With this perspective society views it with sympathy because the person does not understand that what they are doing is wrong because they have not been raised to know that domestic violence is wrong. The solution in this perspective is to give the wrongdoer a second chance by teaching them that domestic violence is not the right thing to do and to teach them other ways to deal with their problems. The third perspective outlined is value conflict. In this perspective domestic violence is viewed as something that just happens, conflict is natural. The fourth perspective we went over is deviant behavior. This theory believes that domestic violence is something that is learned, either from family or through the people that they have chosen to associate with. Societies attitude towards the problem is somewhat sympathetic because it is not all the fault of the violator because their behaviors are learned from their social group. The solutions for this problem are to get the person away from the people that have influenced the person toward domestic violence and to provide them with some positive reinforcement. The fifth perspective covered is labeling. In this theory someone may be labeled as a wife beater and therefore society treats that person as such without giving them much chance to speak for themselves. Societies attitude is that they are sympathetic for the wrongdoer and feel that they should be able to make their own attitudes toward the person. The solution under this theory are to let the wife beater come into a neighborhood with a clean record and come up with their own feelings as to what really happens in this persons house.

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