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Accounting for the hero: A critical psycho-discursive approach to children´s experiences of domestic violence and the construction of masculinities

Dryden, Caroline, Doherty, Kathy and Nicolson, Paula (2009) Accounting for the hero: A critical psycho-discursive approach to children´s experiences of domestic violence and the construction of masculinities. British Journal of Social Psychology, 49 (1). pp. 189-205. ISSN 0144-6665

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This article employs a critical psycho-discursive approach to social identity processes and subjectivity in an important and under-researched area; the psychological impact of domestic violence on children. We use a case study of interview interaction with two teenage brothers talking about their father's past violent behaviour to show that a highly idealised, dominant form of hegemonic masculinity - 'heroic protection discourse' (HPD) - was a major organizing principle framing both brothers' understandings of events. However, significant differences occurred in how each boy identified and made sense of self and others within this discourse. We discuss our findings in terms of (1) the destructive power of HPD to position sons as responsible for a father's violent behaviour and (2) the utility of our approach for developing a better understanding of when, if or why psychological and behavioural problems associated with domestic violence are likely to develop in a particular child. In so doing, we hope to contribute to theoretical debates in social psychology on identity and subjectivity by showing how it is possible to make sense of the 'collision' between structure and agency through the study of social interaction.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 The British Psychological Society. This is an author produced version of a paper published in 'British Journal of Social Psychology'. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: domestic violence, psych-discursive, social identity, boys, hero, heroic protection discourse
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Health and Related Research (Sheffield) > Section of Public Health (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Caroline Dryden
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2010 17:48
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 01:17
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/014466609X438225
Status: Published
Publisher: British Psychological Society
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1348/014466609X438225
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10331

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