Discursive Psychology and Domestic Violence

  • Alison J. Towns
  • Peter J. Adams
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


This chapter explores ways in which discursive psychology sheds light on how language justifies, conceals, and works to produce the dominance of men in intimate relationships. We demonstrate two ways language can be deployed to achieve these effects. First, the close examination of discourses about violence can reveal much about the way violence against women is justified, minimized and ignored. Second, attention to rhetorical devices deployed in these discourses, such as metaphor, ambiguity, and marking strategies, can help in understanding how they are anchored and reinforced in everyday conversations. These forms of discursive enquiry, and other possibilities, open up ways of better understanding the dynamics of men’s violence against women and opportunities for intervention to produce more equitable practices.


Discursive psychology Domestic violence Foucauldian discourse analysis Peace psychology Violence against women 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison J. Towns
    • 1
  • Peter J. Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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