Numerous sociological theories have been developed in attempts to further understand the reasoning behind why IPV may occur these theories often provide conflicting rational as to why domestic abuse occurs, For example, social conflict theory takes a macro level approach when analyzing IPV within society and suggests that it may occur in a relationship when the relationship becomes unbalanced and one partner obtains more resources than the other Rakovec Felser 2014 This can often cause the economically weaker partner to resort to IPV in an attempt to regain power and control within the relationship Rakovec Felser 2014 Despite taking a similar macro orientation approach structural functionalism theories suggest that IPV occurs when government learning institutions and the family fail to perform their roles within society Brinkerhoff et al 2010 Such as how when women try to preform influential roles traditionally occupied by men men within relationships may seek to regain control and regularity within the relationship with the use of violence According to structural functionalism men are historically supposed to uphold powerful positions within society whilst women hold more oppressive positions Brinkerhoff et al 2010 as result of the increasing equality within societies particularly within the workplace IPV is suggested to be used as an instrument of exercising power and maintaining control of the relationship Brinkerhoff et al 2010 Structural functionalists argue that IPV is a social issue that occurs due to wealth inequalities and gendered stereotypes Brinkerhoff et al 2010
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Symbolic interactionalists unlike conflict theorists and functionalists take a more micro level approach and suggests that IPV may occur when partners fail to understand each other s symbols and meanings ultimately causing poor communication and interaction Anderson Rouse 1988 According to symbolic interactionalists individual s behaviors are affected by the society and the social circles they are in causing them to be influenced by differing societal norms and principles Anderson Rouse 1988 Symbolic interactions argue that within a relationship partners must ultimately understand each other s symbols in order to understand each other suggesting that failure to do so can lead to domestic abuse due to frustration within the relationship Anderson Rouse 1988 When addressing concerns over socioeconomic status and IPV major theoretical approaches such as feminism family conflict and resource theories cannot be overlooked Although there are several major differences between each of these theories they arguably share common ideology regarding socioeconomic status and IPV According some of the first and foremost feminist theoretical explanations of IPV IPV occurs due to a patriarchal system which promotes male domination and control Yllo and Bograd 1988 Feminists often suggest IPV Occurrs directly through cultural norms of deference and obedience backed if necessary by the use of force or indirectly by shaping women s opportunities and constraints in basic institutions such as the family and work that reinforce women s subordination Rodriguez Menes and Safranoff 2012 p 585
Feminist argue that gender inequality within societies lead the acceptance of male IPV and propose that increasing opportunity for women within societies would significantly reduce IPV levels Aizer 2010 Due to the belief of early feminism ideology that IPV is a society problem of female gender oppression early feminist empirical research often controlled socioeconomic variables rather than actively seeking to investigate them Raphel 2003 instead they would seek to prove gender oppression rather than social class or ethnicity is the main causation of IPV Raphel 2003 More recently however many feminists such as humphreys 2007 have suggested that the concept of Universalism when relating to IPV can cause obstructive outcomes in addressing the differentials experienced between those of lower socioeconomic status experiencing IPV Josephson 2002 suggested that a universalist approach may only further the vulnerability of those of low socioeconomic status due to the uniformed services and polices it can lead to for poorer victims with approximately 1 9 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experiencing domestic abuse in 2017 ONS 2017 domestic abuse often referred to as intimate partner violence IPV is a growing concern within the UK IPV is defined as repeated behavioural patterns that are executed with the intent of physically or psychologically harm another individual within intimate relationship Abbott et al 2005 and has become an increasingly prevalent subject within criminological research Spruin et al 2015 IPV is occurring regularly all over the world taking place in most countries despite varying cultures regulations and religions Mckerl 2007 On a global level woman are significantly more likely to become a victim of IPV however male IPV is growing particularly amongst same sex relationships Mckerl 2007 IPV is often used to gain authority or control it can include physical psychological and sexual harm Brandl and Horan 2002 IPV has often been described as a working class problem Mullender 1999 however the relationship between crime and social class has long been debated Despite the fact early theoretical criminology theories had largely agreed upon the fact that lower socioeconomic statue inevitably leads to more criminogenic lifestyles Mullender 1999
Empirical research into the link between class and crime rates has led to increasing debate over the idea that crime is heavily linked to socioeconomic status Reichel 2017 Due to the inconclusive findings of the research into the links between socioeconomic status and crime this remains a much-debated topic within criminology establishing the link if any between social deprivation and IPV is extremely important for the future development of strategies policy s and support for those experiencing abuse
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