Experiences of advocacy : situating experiences of contemporary women’s advocates within the feminist movement to end violence against women

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Authors
Neville, Diane Woolson
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Degree
Master of Social Practice
Grantor
Unitec Institute of Technology
Date
2013
Supervisors
Gremillion, Helen
Kenkel, David
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
violence against women
partner violence
feminism
women's advocates
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
discourse analysis
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Citation
Neville, D.W. (2013). Experiences of advocacy: Situating experiences of contemporary women’s advocates within the feminist movement to end violence against women. A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Social Practice, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Abstract
RESEARCH QUESTIONS:  Has the language and analysis of advocates regarding intimate partner violence within the violence against women movement shifted from its historical roots?  How have political and social contexts in New Zealand influenced the feminist violence against women movement?  What are the implications of any shift in language and analysis of advocates within the feminist violence against women movement for the prevention of intimate partner violence in New Zealand? This research examines how contemporary women’s advocates working with women experiencing intimate partner violence regard their work, the analysis they hold and language they use about the phenomenon of violence against women, and how this contemporary work may be situated in relation to the feminist movement to end violence against women. These aspects of the violence against women field have been minimally researched internationally. Ten women’s advocates from ten different organisations were interviewed two times. First interviews involved participants commenting on vignettes about hypothetical cases of intimate partner violence. Second interviews were semi-structured and involved discussions about participants’ work and wider thoughts on the phenomenon of intimate partner violence. Interviews were transcribed and checked by participants for accuracy. Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis with influences from discourse analysis to identify key themes within participants’ interviews as well as language used around violence as a phenomenon. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis indicated areas of enduring feminist influence to participants’ approaches to advocacy work. It also indicated areas where the relationship between advocacy and the feminist movement to end violence against women is more complicated, and sometimes disconnected. Participants’ motivations for engaging in advocacy work are also discussed as well as a number of emerging issues identified by participants. Discourse analysis was used to enhance interpretation of interview data, and was utilised to consider constructions of the causes of intimate partner violence deployed in participants’ accounts. Four constructions of the causes of intimate partner violence were identified: feminist with both micro and macro constructions, situational, relationship, and intergeneration/cycle of violence. Implications from these research findings are considered before recommendations are made for strengthening the feminist movement to end violence against women.
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