In His Account of the Sociological Imagination, C. Wright Mills (1959) Distinguishes Between ‘Private Troubles’ and ‘Public Issues’. Discuss in Relation to Domestic Violence.
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Domestic violence (at a glance) is considered to be a private matter; it is something that occurs between couples in the privacy of their homes and affects the individuals involved personally (Knoblock, 2008). But if we look closer, domestic violence is largely driven by social forces and structures (Furze, Savy, Brym, Lie, 2008). Ideologies and social norms about men and women such as patriarchy and gender inequalities contribute greatly to the occurrence of domestic violence in society. Hence C. Wright Mills’s concept of the sociological imagination, “the quality of mind to see what is going on in the world and what may be happening within themselves,” (1959, as cited by Furze et al, 2008, p8) can be applied to domestic violence for it…show more content… Families in which husbands are abusive to their wives depict these social attitudes and furthermore, convey messages to their children that domestic violence is tolerable in society (Abraham, 1995). This notion is also argued by Gelles and Smith who stated that “wife abuse is more common among couples who witnessed their mothers being abused and/or were abused when they were a child” (as cited by Furze et al, 2008, p213). Therefore, domestic violence is caused by patriarchal structures and male domination in socialisation.
Domestic violence is also a result of gender inequality (Furze et al, 2008). Gender acts as a stratification system that creates inequalities between men and women by ranking men above women within the same race and class (Lorber, 2003, as cited by Knoblock, 2008). Because men had a higher rank, they had more power and more prestige than women. This paved way for male domination of women in society (Knoblock, 2008). Gender inequality also reinforced stereotypes about masculinity and femininity i.e. men were tough, authoritative, powerful whilst women were passive, weak and dependent (Knoblock, 2008). These ideas permeated society, and hence provided reasons for men to think that they have a right to assault a woman (Knoblock, 2008). The link between domestic violence and gender inequality is